The older sister of Mitt Romney’s former high school classmate said she has no knowledge of any bullying incident involving her brother and the GOP presidential candidate.
Christine Lauber of South Bend, Ind., had not seen the Washington Post’s story that described an incident when Mitt Romney bullied her brother, but said she was aware of the story. The incident centered around Romney allegedly holding the scissors to help cut the hair of John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay and who had long hair.
Romney’s former classmate, Phillip Maxwell, now a lawyer, described witnessing the incident and said he considered the “prank” the two pulled at Michigan’s Cranbrook School to be “assault and battery.”
Maxwell said he held the boy’s arm and leg, describing himself and his friends as a “pack of dogs.”
Christine Lauber, who is a few years older than John Lauber, was at college when the alleged incident happened, and said the brother and sister were “doing our own thing” at the time.
When ABC News showed her the story, Christine Lauber’s eyes welled up with tears and she became agitated.
She described her brother as a “very unusual person.”
“He didn’t care about running with the peer group,” Christine Lauber said. “What’s wrong with that?”
Betsy Lauber, one of John Lauber’s three sisters, spoke with ABC News Tuesday night regarding the accuracy of the story.
“The family of John Lauber is releasing a statement saying the portrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda. There will be no more comments from the family,” she said.
She did not say specifically how the Washington Post story was incorrect.
Romney has since apologized for what he said were “pranks” in high school but has said he doesn’t remember the specific event.
Romney said “homosexuality was the furthest thing from his mind” when it came to the jokes he played on classmates.
“Even if it did happen, John probably wouldn’t have said anything,” Christine Lauber said.
“If he were still alive today, he would be furious [about the story],” she said with tears in her eyes.
The Washington Post contacted and quoted both Christine and Betsy Lauber in their original story and reported that they were not aware of the incident with Romney.
John Lauber died of liver cancer in 2004, according to the Washington Post.
This post has been updated for context.