Third Woman Comes Forward In Filner Harassment Scandal
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Aired 7/24/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Amita Sharma, KPBS Investigative Reporter
Sandhya Dirks, KPBS Metro Reporter
Aired 7/24/13 on KPBS News.
A third woman goes public with allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in an exclusive interview with KPBS.
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All of the accusations, statements and apologies from the key players in the developing story about allegations of sexual harassment in Mayor Bob Filner's office and calls from former mayoral supporters for his resignation.
A third woman has come forward on Wednesday with allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. In an exclusive KPBS interview, Morgan Rose details an encounter where she alleges the former congressman repeatedly tried to kiss her in a public restaurant.
Morgan Rose, a psychologist in the San Diego Unified School District, founded America’s Angel Campaign, a national initiative dedicated to making the well-being of children America’s “highest priority.”
In January 2009, Rose and her team met with then Congressmen Filner in an effort to bring their initiative to a national stage. After their initial meeting, Filner called her home phone to request an additional, private meeting.
Rose states, “He asked for this meeting because he wanted to know, in his vernacular, ‘who in the hell you are.’”
They scheduled to meet at Marie Callender’s across from his congressional office in San Diego County.
When Rose arrived, she remembers being greeted by his assistant, community representative, Willie Blair, who suggested a booth facing the door. Blair then left, and she says the restaurant was empty.
When Congressman Filner arrived he informed Rose that he had brought the mission of America's Angel Campaign to Michelle Obama. Filner stated Mrs. Obama requested a follow up memo concerning how the campaign would discuss the escalating violence in America’s military families.
Rose’s initial excitement turned to confusion when she says Congressman Filner started staring at her. He then allegedly said, “your eyes have bewitched me.”
Rose states that Congressman Filner stood up, walked over to her side and sat down next to her and wanted to kiss her.
“He tried to move my face towards his to kiss me on the mouth,” Rose said. She turned away from him and remembers negotiating for him to stop.
“Would you please go back so we can continue this meeting? This is an important topic,” she said.
According to Rose, Congressman Filner said he would not move until “you kiss me.”
Rose alleges Congressman Filner tried to kiss her four separate times.
Rose says, Congressman Filner then received a cell phone call. He stopped, answered his phone and stated he needed to head back to the office, and left.
Morgan Rose is the third woman to step forward this week to publicly make allegations against the embattled Mayor.
She has since contacted the sheriff’s hotline to file an official complaint.
The mayor did not respond to KPBS' repeated attempts for comment.
John Rosman, Mark Sauer and Patty Lane contributed to this story.