ABC News’ Amy Bingham reports:
First it was a photo of a seven-term Member of Congress posing in a full-body tiger suit, then it was accusations of erratic behavior and angry outbursts, but finally it is an “unwanted sexual encounter” allegation that could send Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., to the House Ethics Committee.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called today for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Wu after reports that he engaged in aggressive sexual behavior with a young California woman surfaced in his hometown newspaper.
“Recent press reports and statements attributed to our colleague, Representative David Wu, indicate that he may have engaged in inappropriate activities. An investigation by the Ethics Committee to determine if the Rules of the House of Representatives have been violated is warranted,” Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner and Ranking Member Linda Sanchez.
The Oregonian newspaper, which first published the allegations, did not identify the woman but reported that she left a distraught voicemail on Wu’s Portland congressional office phone.
The paper reported that she is the daughter of one of Wu’s high school friends who has donated to his campaign and that she graduated from high school in 2010, according to her Facebook page.
Wu, 56, issued a one-sentence statement responding to the allegations Friday. He has said he will not resign, but also will not seek re-election in 2012.
“This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family,” he said in the statement.
The encounter allegedly happened over the Thanksgiving holiday shortly after Wu’s re-election. The women did not press charges because, the Oregonian reports, there were no witnesses so it would be her word against the Congressman’s.
It has been a turbulent two years for Wu. He separated from his wife in 2009 and has two children.
After Wu’s re-election campaign seven of Wu’s staffers resigned last February after the congressman began acting oddly and sent unusual emails to his staff including one with a picture of him in a tiger suit.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in February, Wu said he was consulting medical help, undergoing therapy and taking medication to address his indiscretions.
“This was a very difficult time in my life,” Wu said. “Last October was not a good month. It was very stressful. I did some things; I said some things which I sincerely regret now.”
This is also not the first sex scandal Wu has been accused of. During his 2004 election, Wu apologized for his “inexcusable behavior” after The Oregonian published a story about a then-21-year-old Wu trying to force his ex-girlfriend to have sex with him while they were both students at Stanford University in 1976.
For Democrats, it is the second scandal in recent months to direct focus on the personal lives of Congressmen.
Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress in June after he sent a picture of himself in his underwear to a woman on the West Coast. That mistake led to a media firestorm after Weiner lied to reporters and colleagues about his relationships online with a number of women.
ABC’s John Parkinson and Zach Wolf contributed to this report.