“We are friends”: Rep. Al Green’s bizarre attempt to get ahead of sexual misconduct allegations

The statement apparently goes back to an accusation over a 2007 incident.

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) really wants the world to know that he and Lucinda Daniels, a former staffer, are friends.

Really. That’s just about the only thing Green’s new statement on the topic — which mentioned that Daniels and he are “consenting friends” — made clear. It read:

In the present climate, we wish to jointly quiet any curious minds about our former and present relationship with one another. We are friends, and have long been friends. At an unfortunate time in our lives, when both of our feelings were hurt, we hastily made allegations and charges against one another that have been absolutely resolved. As consenting friends, we both regret our former claims and have since then maintained our respectful friendship. We are friends.

This matter has been resolved without payment of any money or transfer of any consideration of any kind by either of us to the other. As friends, we have both agreed that we see no need to make further statements regarding this absolutely resolved matter.

The November 2017 statement is signed by both Daniels and Green, seemingly in an attempt to preempt any new reporting on this case.

Their statement comes as more high-profile men face allegations of sexual assault and harassment following a string of accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Recently, two women accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of groping, and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) was accused of sexual harassment in a case that was quietly resolved through a congressional office that uses taxpayer money to settle such allegations.

Apparently Green and Daniels, the former director of the Congress member’s Houston office, were trying to get ahead of reporting on their own conflict. Daniels alleged that Green had sexually assaulted her in 2007. In 2008, Green responded with a lawsuit that claimed Daniels threatened to sue him for discrimination if he didn’t pay her.

Then Daniels reportedly signed a written agreement dismissing her accusations against Green. That led Green to drop his lawsuit within months of filing it, reportedly without any payment.

Although Green acknowledged a “romantic encounter” in 2007, his spokesperson has denied that Green assaulted Daniels. Green’s communications director also said that the conflict never directly involved the congressional office or taxpayer money.

But as accusations of sexual misconduct have continued to pop up, that apparently made Green and Daniels nervous. So now we have this bizarre statement.