A week after news broke that Al Gore faced allegations of sexual assault, the former vice president broke his silence, issuing a strongly worded denial Wednesday.
The statement comes as police in Portland, Ore., say they’re reopening an investigation into a massage therapist’s claims that Gore made “unwanted sexual contact” with her four years ago.
“Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore,” says family spokesperson Kalee Kreider. “The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial.”
The National Enquirer was the first to report that the masseuse gave a statement to police last year about the alleged abuse during a three-hour massage session at a luxury hotel in October 2006.
Last week police said the matter wasn’t investigated further due to “insufficient evidence to support the allegations” and a prosecutor said the woman was not willing to be interviewed by officers. The woman was reportedly considering suing the 62-year-old Nobel Laureate before approaching the National Enquirer last month, asking for $1 million for her story.
• Reporting by SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL