More than a dozen Michigan State University employees knew of their colleague Larry Nassar's serial sexual abuse, The Detroit News reported Thursday. Since 1997, no fewer than 14 university figures had heard of the now-disgraced doctor's actions, the paper reported — despite the school's claim that it was unaware until a woman reported Nassar's behavior in 2014.
In 1997, Michigan State's then-gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was told by two girls from the school's youth gymnastics program that Nassar had digitally penetrated them during treatments, The Detroit News wrote. One of the girls, Larissa Boyce, said she told Klages that Nassar had been "fingering" her. Boyce recalled to the paper that Klages' response was to warn her against speaking out: "I can file this, but there are going to be serious consequences for you and Nassar," Boyce quoted Klages as saying.
Kelli Bert, a former assistant coach at Michigan State, reportedly dismissed similar reports two years later. Former track athlete Christie Achenbach told The Detroit News that she was digitally penetrated by Nassar during treatment in 1999, and when she reported the incident to Bert, Bert replied: "He's an Olympic doctor and he should know what he is doing." Bert denied to The Detroit News that she knew about Nassar's behavior. "If he had done something sexual, I believe I would have reported that immediately," she said.
The school has claimed it was unaware of Nassar's predation until 2014. A lawyer for Michigan State wrote to Michigan's attorney general last December defending the school, saying: "We believe the evidence in this case will show that no one else at MSU knew that Nassar engaged in criminal behavior."
In his capacities as a doctor for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, as well as during treatments he administered in other volunteer positions, Nassar is accused of sexually abusing over 150 women. Read more at The Detroit News. Kelly O'Meara Morales
Fox News' Geraldo Rivera offers a very cringe-worthy defense of Matt Lauer: 'News is a flirty business'
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera issued a flaming hot take on Wednesday about Matt Lauer, the recently fired Today show host accused of sexual harassment:
Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 29, 2017
Rivera — who seems to have not thoroughly read the Variety article alleging that Lauer gave a sex toy to a colleague as a present, locked female employees in his office, and exposed himself to a co-worker — also suggested that recent allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in the media were attempts to get back at "bad bosses or hated ex's" or were motivated by financial desires.
A jerk's a jerk in dating. #SexHarassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim's employment. Shouldn't be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex's
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 29, 2017
In 2016, Rivera made a similarly noxious tweet defending former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes against allegations of sexual harassment. He later apologized and urged people to report sexual harassment "even if the alleged offender is an old friend."
In 1991, singer and actress Bette Midler told Barbara Walters in an interview that when she met Rivera in the '70s, he and his producer "pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose, and they proceeded to grope me." Kelly O'Meara Morales
Former intern for Charlie Rose says he made her watch movie sex scene, asked her if she felt aroused
A former intern for Charlie Rose said Wednesday that the former talk show host made her watch a sexually explicit scene from a movie for 20 minutes under the guise of work obligations. Rose, a veteran journalist who was fired from PBS and CBS News after allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct were reported by The Washington Post, apparently additionally asked the intern, Sarah Gordon, if the scene made her feel aroused.
Gordon told NBC News that she was delivering mail to Rose's house when the incident occurred. "I proceeded to go into the living room, and he said I want to show you this scene from this movie," Gordon said. "And he said have a seat, you know, relax, and he proceeded to turn on the film Secretary, which is a sexually involved film involving S&M, unfortunately."
Although Gordon said Rose did not touch her during the incident, NBC News noted that the film in question "portrays a young woman becoming sexually involved with her boss." Gordon said that eventually, she was able to change the subject of conversation and leave the apartment.
Rose has been accused of sexually harassing young women who worked for him. On Monday, he issued a statement calling himself "an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked" and apologized for his "inappropriate behavior," including reported inappropriate touching, sexually suggestive remarks, and exposing himself.
Gordon was rather forgiving of her former boss, telling NBC News, "I think he's probably troubled, and I have empathy for people that are troubled." Still, she added, his firings were justified: "I don't think someone like that deserves to have a position like that if they're going to abuse their power," she said. Kelly O'Meara Morales
Los Angeles-area reporter Leeann Tweeden said Thursday that she was kissed without her consent and groped in her sleep by Democratic Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) in 2006. Tweeden, writing for KABC, where she is a morning news anchor, met the future senator — then working as a comedian — during a 2006 USO tour.
Tweeden said that during the tour, Franken wrote a skit where his character would try to kiss hers. Franken was insistent they practice the kiss, she wrote:
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said "okay" so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine, and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn't be so nice about it the next time. [Leeann Tweeden, via KABC]
Tweeden said she felt "disgusted and violated" by the incident. Because she "didn't want to cause trouble," she told "a few of the others on the tour" about the kiss, but did not report Franken to any authority figures. Then, on their flight back to the U.S. after the tour was over, Tweeden fell asleep — still wearing her flak vest and Kevlar helmet — at which point Franken groped her as someone took a picture:
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) November 16, 2017
Scripps' Mike Sacks noted that in his book Giant of the Senate, Franken claimed that his experience on the USO tour was a motivating factor in him running for office. In a statement, Franken told NBC's Asher Klein: "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it."