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US envoy to EU accused of sexual misconduct


United States Ambassador to European Union, Gordon Sondland, who provided key testimony in US President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings has been accused of sexual misconduct by atleast three women.
Sondland denied the allegations and his lawyer has alleged that the accusers are trying to influence the inquiry against the president, The New York Times reported.
A US-based Magazine 'Portland Monthly' on Wednesday published the article in which the women have told their stories.
One of the accusers, Jana Solis said that she met Sondland in 2008 when she was searching for a job. She said that Sondland invited her for lunch and offered a job as "my new hotel chick" and slapped her rear.
She also said that Sondland invited her to his Portland home to check his personal art collection which included a picture of himself with US former President George W Bush and he exposed himself in the pool house. She also accused the ambassador of forcibly kissing her.
Another woman Nicole Vogel, who owns Portland Monthly said that she met Sondland in 2003 to seek investment for a news magazine. Vogel said that Sondland took her to a hotel room and then "grabs my face and goes to kiss me".
Vogel said that she refused and left the room. Later on, she had received an email in which Sondland declined funding for her project.
Sondland, in his defence, has released a statement in which he has said, "These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes".
A lawyer for Sondland told the magazine the article was timed to damage the ambassador's credibility in the impeachment inquiry.
During his testimony last week, Sondland admitted that "a quid pro quo" with Ukraine did take place.
The "quid pro quo" involved Ukraine announcing an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The ambassador also claimed that he worked with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine at the "directions of the president".

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First Published: Nov 28 2019 | 3:08 PM IST

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