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Rep. Debbie Dingell shares Me Too story, says 'historical figure' touched her inappropriately

Incident happened in the early 1980s shortly after she married Rep. John Dingell

Rep. Debbie Dingell told CNN Friday that a senator touched her inappropriately at a political gathering in the early 1980s. 

Dingell, D-Dearborn, told the story after CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked her to talk about her Me Too story. 

"I have too many of them," Dingell said. 

She then described how a "historical figure," who she declined to name, ran their hand up her leg. Dingell said she took the hand off, and another woman at the table saw what was happening and told her to switch seats. 

Here's the full transcript from CNN: 

"I have too many of them. 

There was a Senator. I was married. But I didn't want my husband to know because I was afraid he'd kill him. Everybody at my office knew and the minute I was at a social setting someone would move in to protect me so I'd never be alone. 

He would be aggressive not only to me ... everyone on Capital Hill knew. I just happen to be one of his people. 

I was with a very prominent historical person and I'm not going to name who that person is, and that's part of the problem. A lot of women don't have the courage, because even though they've got the Me Too story, there are consequences. And we have to get to a point, let this be a watershed moment in changing the culture and men understanding it's not OK. Because the fact of the matter is, look, I'm a United states congresswoman ... I'm luckier than 99% of the women. For too many women those Me Too stories are going to have consequences. Economic, if you're a waitress, or on a factory floor, or if you're in a small business and you target the small business, where's their job? 

But I would still pay a price if I were to name some of them. I was lucky the night it happened, I didn't know what to do ... I was a first year marriage, so that tells you how long ago it was, historical figure, hand kept going up the leg, I took it off, a women member was at the table, recognized what was happening, and said switch places. We watch out for each other. That's the other thing we have to do. People need to speak up. Men and women, speak up and say it's not OK. 

Camerata said more people are speaking up.

Dingell answered: "Not enough." 

Dingell was elected to Congress in 2014, replacing her husband, John Dingell, to represent Michigan's 12th District. 

 

 


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