Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spoke publicly for the first time on Friday afternoon after a new lawsuit alleged he sexually abused a teenager in the 1980s.
“To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me, it is painful for my husband and for those who are close to us. I understand the individual making these allegations is troubled, and that makes me sad as well,” Murray said in brief statement to the media.
“But let me be clear, these allegations, dating back to a period of more than 30 years, are simply not true,” Murray said.
“Things have never come easy to me in life, but I have never backed down and I will not back down now. I will continue to be the mayor of this city, I will continue to run for re-election…”
Murray took no other questions, saying it was a legal matter now in the courts.
The mayor was reacting to a lawsuit, announced Thursday, that was filed by a 46-year-old Kent man identified in court documents only as D.H. He says Murray “raped and molested” him when the man was a 15-year-old high school dropout and drug addict and Murray was in his early 30s.
D.H.’s attorney, Lincoln C. Beauregard, issued this statement in response to Murray’s denial on Friday:
“That after the Mayor has done so much good for the community, and inspired so many people, it must be hard for him to know that his career is over. It must be a very tough time knowing that he has to explain this, and eventually admit this, to his loving partner, political allies, and the public — which he really didn’t do. In relation to my client specifically, the Mayor’s people have never asked that he be identified, and if the Mayor’s telling the truth, he should have no idea who my client is. If that is true, how can he paint him as ‘troubled’ and the like?”
A spokesman and the mayor’s attorney vehemently denied the allegations, describing them as a “shakedown effort” as the filing deadline for this fall’s mayoral election approaches.
“The allegations are false,” Murray’s attorney, Robert Sulkin, said Thursday afternoon. “He is not engaged in any inappropriate conduct with a minor, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence these allegations have occurred in the midst of a mayoral campaign.”