Rep. Blake Farenthold has responded to a lawsuit filed by a former aide that alleged illegal gender discrimination and a hostile work environment, denying almost all of the allegations.
In her lawsuit filed in December, Lauren Greene, who was fired from her post as Farenthold’s communications director in July 2014, alleges the Texas Republican “regularly drank to excess” and told his executive assistant he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene.
Through his lawyers, Farenthold, R-Texas, filed a response to the former aide's suit.
“Defendant denies that Rep. Farenthold was attracted to Plaintiff, that he had sexual fantasies about Plaintiff, or that he had wet dreams about Plaintiff,” Farenthold’s lawyers wrote in their response to Greene’s lawsuit.
Farenthold’s lawyers filed the response Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, denying that Green “has any claim against” or “sustained any damages on account of any alleged action or alleged omission” by Farenthold. The document further states that Green “was terminated for poor performance and failure to report to work and appear for multiple media events” and that her termination was “further supported” by the discovery that Green “lied” about the circumstances of her absence.
Greene's lawsuit alleges that the congressman “told Greene that she had something on her skirt and that he hoped his comment wouldn’t be taken for sexual harassment. A reasonable person would infer that Farenthold was joking that she had semen on her skirt.”
“Defendant denies that Rep. Farenthold stated either implicitly or explicitly that Plaintiff appeared to have semen on her clothing, or that a reasonable person would infer the same,” the filing reads.
In his response, Farenthold’s office admits to an allegation raised by Greene’s lawsuit that the congressman told aides that a woman had propositioned him for a three-some sexual encounter.
“Defendant admits the allegations…except denies that the woman who propositioned Rep. Farenthold was a lobbyist and denies the allegation’s implication that Rep. Farenthold told his staff about the proposition for an improper or lascivious purpose.”
Greene’s lawsuit also alleges that when Farenthold’s chief of staff Bob Haueter complained that Greene’s attire was transparent and showed her nipples, the congressman allegedly told his executive assistant Emily Wilkes that Greene “could show her nipples whenever she wanted to.”
The office also denies that Farenthold told Wilkes that Greene “could show her nipples whenever she wanted to” though it acknowledges that “there was an occasion in which [Greene] reported to work in a shirt and bra that were made of such flimsy fabric that [Greene’s] nipples were visible.”
Greene alleges that Farenthold’s office violated the anti-retaliation provision of the Congressional Accountability Act by firing her shortly after she complained to her superiors about the alleged discrimination and hostile work environment she was experiencing.
Her lawyers write that she suffered “substantial economic damages, in the form of lost pay and emotional damages due to the hostile treatment which caused her embarrassment, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, sleeplessness and feelings of depression and anxiety.”
Greene has requested a jury trial.