A staffer who worked for Herschel Walker’s Republican Senate campaign filed a lawsuit against prominent conservative activist Matt Schlapp on Tuesday, accusing Schlapp of groping him during a car ride in Georgia before last year’s midterm election, the AP reports. Schlapp denies the allegation, and his lawyer says they are considering a countersuit. The staffer’s battery and defamation lawsuit was filed in Alexandria Circuit Court in Virginia, where Schlapp lives, and seeks more than $9 million in damages. It accuses Schlapp of “aggressively fondling” the staffer’s “genital area in a sustained fashion” while the staffer was driving Schlapp back to his hotel from a bar in October the day of a Walker campaign event. The allegations were first reported earlier this month by the Daily Beast.
The staffer filed the lawsuit anonymously as “John Doe,” citing his status as an alleged sexual assault victim and fearing backlash from supporters of Schlapp, a longtime adviser to former President Trump and chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference. The lawsuit also accuses Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, who served in Trump's White House as director of strategic communications, of defamation and conspiracy, citing Matt Schlapp's repeated denials of the claims and alleged attempts by both to discredit the staffer.
According to the lawsuit, Matt Schlapp was in Georgia in the waning days of the general election season to campaign for Walker, the former University of Georgia football star who ended up losing a runoff election to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. The lawsuit alleges that, after the staffer drove Schlapp back to Atlanta following a campaign event, Schlapp invited the staffer to join him for drinks. The two ended up at a local bar, where Schlapp, according to the suit, “sat unusually close” to the accuser, “such that his leg repeatedly contacted, and was in almost constant contact with Mr. Doe’s leg.” The car ride allegations followed, and the staffer notified his superiors immediately.
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