U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) is facing allegations of making unwelcome sexual advances, sources tell the Oregonian.
According to the Beaver State-based outlet, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor accused the Democratic congressman of pursuing an unwanted sexual encounter said to have occurred last year. The young woman reportedly raised the matter in a voicemail left at Wu's Portland office this past spring. An unnamed source tells the Oregonian that she sounded "distraught" in her message.
This is not the first time that Wu has come under scrutiny over matters unrelated to his work in the political domain. Earlier this year, the congressman found himself combating calls to resign in the wake of demonstrating questionable behavior. In February, Wu cited a reaction to mental health drugs in resisting calls to step down. The Associated Press reported at the time:
U.S. Rep. David Wu told The Associated Press, however, that it does not explain the behavior documented in reports over the last month, which included sending his staff photos of himself wearing a tiger costume.
Wu said he was hospitalized after his 2008 campaign for symptoms that were later diagnosed as a reaction to common mental health drugs. A spokesman, Erik Dorey, identified them as the sleep-aid drug Ambien and a generic form of Valium, which he said Wu used for anxiety and stress.
Wu said that as a result, he felt dizzy and confused on Election Day that year, when his staff and family reportedly were unable to locate him.
"It came up that afternoon, and it knocked me off my can," Wu said, referring to the symptoms.
The Oregonian sought comment from Wu on the more recent sexual allegations in the past few days. After initially not responding to the outlet's requests, he reportedly put out the following statement on Friday: "This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family."
Portland-based station KATU reports:
His spokesman, Erik Dorey, declined to answer questions and would not address any of the allegations or if the sexual encounter was unwanted. He also declined to comment on whether the woman had complained to Wu’s office.
He would not say whether he had heard the voicemail.
The young woman said to be involved in the incident with Wu was not identified by name by the Oregonian. The outlet reports that she and her family have declined to speak about the allegations with members of the press.
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