An attorney for U.S. Rep. John Conyers says the lawmaker will not resign amid sexual harassment allegations. Arnold Reed told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Conyers is going to fight claims that he inappropriately touched several women. (Nov. 29) AP
DETROIT — A woman who said she accepted a settlement with U.S. Rep. John Conyers broke her confidentiality agreement Thursday, detailing allegations of sexual misconduct in an appearance on the Today show.
"I am taking a risk. And the reason why I'm taking a risk — and it's important — I want to be a voice," Marion Brown said, while appearing on the program shortly after 7:30 a.m. "My granddaughter, when she enters the workforce, I want her to not endure sexism and gender inequality."
Brown accused Conyers of sexual harassment, "violating my body, propositioning me," touching her "in different ways, and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional," she said. She said that she "froze in shock" when he invited her to a Chicago hotel room in 2005, where he was in his underwear, pointed to his genitals and asked her to touch him.
"I didn't know what to do," Brown said. "I didn't want to lose my job. I didn't want to upset him."
Conyers, 88, flew back to Detroit from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night amid multiple sexual harassment allegations. He has steadfastly denied the accusations that he made sexual advances and improper remarks, as well as groping and rubbing former female staffers. His lawyer said the media attention forced him back to Detroit to look after his family.
On Thursday, Conyers' lawyer, Arnold Reed, confirmed the congressman was hospitalized overnight and remains there.
Reed said he would not discuss details about Conyers' condition or release what hospital he went to. He said he assumed the reason for the hospitalization was stress related.
Political consultant Sam Riddle said Conyers' wife, Monica, is by his side.
"We ask that the nation pray for the congressman's recovery," he said via text message.
He also spoke with reporters earlier Thursday: "I just spoke with (Conyers' wife) Monica Conyers on the phone, and we'd like to let you know that the congressman is resting comfortably at an area hospital," Riddle said on video in a tweet shared by a WXYZ-TV, Detroit, reporter. "He's doing OK; as well as can be expected for a gentleman that's approaching 90 years of age."
The announcement came shortly after Brown appeared on the Today show.
The Detroit Free Press, which like USA TODAY is a part of the USA TODAY Network, had previously identified Brown as being the complainant in a wrongful dismissal complaint through pay records. She previously declined to speak with the Free Press on the record. The complaint resulted in a $27,000 settlement.
"All I want from the congressman is to acknowledge what he did and apologize to me for calling me a liar," Brown said on Today.
Brown's TV appearance came one day after NBC announced the firing of Today anchor Matt Lauer on separate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Contributing: Todd Spangler, Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press. Follow Robert Allen on Twitter: @rallenMI