CPAC honcho Matt Schlapp hit with anonymous lawsuit over alleged same-sex harassment

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A man who claims Conservative Political Action Conference President Matt Schlapp groped him last year on a late-night drive in Georgia is now suing Mr. Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, for $9.4 million.

The lawsuit alleges the high-profile Washington couple orchestrated “a campaign to impugn” the accuser.

The man did not disclose his name in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia, Circuit Court, and he has remained anonymous since making his sexual misconduct accusation against Mr. Schlapp public earlier this month.

The civil charges the man filed include four counts — two involving defamation and one related to the alleged groping episode. A fourth charge claims the Schlapps worked with GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren to defame the accuser on social media.

Mr. Schlapp’s lawyer, Charlie Spies, denied the initial groping accusation and the civil charges relating to defamation.

“This anonymous complaint demonstrates the accuser’s real agenda, working in concert with Daily Beast to attack and harm the Schlapp family,” Mr. Spies said. “The complaint is false, and the Schlapp family is suffering unbearable pain and stress due to the false allegation from an anonymous individual. No family should ever go through this, and the Schlapps and their legal team are assessing counter-lawsuit options.”

The Daily Beast is a New York-based tabloid-style news website.

The anonymous accuser outlined charges in the lawsuit, accusing Mr. Schlapp of unwelcome advances while he drove Mr. Schlapp from a bar in Macon, Ga., back to his hotel on Oct. 19. Mr. Schlapp was in town for a campaign event for Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker. The anonymous man worked for the Walker campaign and was asked to drive Mr. Schlapp, according to the lawsuit.

A Walker campaign spokesman has not returned a request for a comment on the matter.

The anonymous accusations were reported by the Daily Beast earlier this month, triggering a denial from Mr. Schlapp through his lawyer, Mr. Spies, who called the claims an “attack” on his client. 

The denial, the anonymous accuser said in the lawsuit, is defamatory.

He accused Mrs. Schlapp of sending a group email to neighbors in which she called him, without using his name, “a troubled individual” who had been fired from multiple jobs and who had lied on his resume.

“Mr. Doe never has been fired for lying or lying on his resume, and Ms. Schlapp’s statement was false and defamatory,” the accuser states in the lawsuit.

Ms. Wren, the man claims in the lawsuit, also worked with the Schlapps to defame him, accusing him on social media of being “fired from multiple campaigns for lying and unethical behavior.” Ms. Wren said the anonymous accuser was 44 years old.

In the lawsuit, the man denied all of the claims, including his age, and called them “false and defamatory.”

The Schlapps have referred media inquiries to their lawyer, Mr. Spies.

Mr. Schlapp, 55, has been head of the American Conservative Union, which runs the annual CPAC, since June 2014. 

Prior to that, he was White House director of political affairs for President George W. Bush.

Mrs. Schlapp was the White House director of strategic communications for President Trump.

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