WASHINGTON — Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and a key witness who testified publicly this month in the House impeachment inquiry, is categorically denying allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred before he took his diplomatic post and were published for the first time on Wednesday.
“In decades of my career in business and civic affairs, my conduct can be affirmed by hundreds of employees and colleagues with whom I have worked in countless circumstances. These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them,” Sondland said in a statement about the claims, obtained by NBC News.
Sondland’s comments came in response to an investigative piece that was jointly published by ProPublica and the Portland Monthly on Wednesday which named three women accusing Sondland of sexual misconduct. All three women said that they experienced professional retaliation after reporting the allegations, which included unwanted touching. The report said that these alleged incidents occurred before he served as ambassador.
NBC News has not confirmed the allegations, the most recent of which occurred nearly a decade ago.
“These false incidents are at odds with my character. It is distressing that this underhanded journalism was initiated by a source angry that I long ago declined to invest in her magazine, the same magazine now presenting its owner’s outlandish claims as if the reporting is somehow objective,” Sondland said in his statement.
And on Tuesday, one of Sondland’s lawyers sent the news outlets a five-page letter obtained by NBC and wrote that each of the women pursued Sondland for “financial and personal gain.”