Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. fired for sexual misconduct (Update: Ford Jr. denies allegation, MSNBC suspends him)
When it rains it pours. HuffPost’s Yashar Ali reports that former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired by Morgan Stanley after allegations of sexual misconduct.
At least one woman, who is not a Morgan Stanley employee but interacted with Ford in a professional capacity, was interviewed by Morgan Stanley’s HR department as part of the investigation.
In two interviews with HuffPost, the woman alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact.
The email, which was reviewed by HuffPost, shows that the woman emailed Ford after he repeatedly asked her to drinks. She asked him not to contact her anymore, citing his inappropriate conduct the evening where he forcibly grabbed and harassed her. Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her.
Ford Jr. spent 10 years in Congress from 1997 to 2007, taking over the Tennessee district formerly held by his father. He ran for Senate in 2006 but lost a relatively close race to Republican Bob Corker. During that campaign, a negative political ad aimed at Ford Jr. caused a firestorm when it mentioned his attendance at a 2005 Superbowl party hosted by Playboy. The ad was denounced by the NAACP and eventually pulled, but Ford Jr. was asked by a reporter if the claim he had attended the Playboy party (with several thousand other people) was true. He admitted it saying, “I like football and I like girls.”
After losing his Senate campaign, Ford Jr. was hired by Morgan Stanley and also started a media career. He worked for Fox News briefly and then became a contributor at MSNBC where he has been appearing on Morning Joe and other programs for a decade. This appearance from September seems to be the most recent clip of him currently available on YouTube.
Update: Politico reports MSNBC is benching Harold Ford Jr. while it investigates allegations against him:
“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr. During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ford Jr. had denied the accusations on Twitter and says he plans to sue the reporter and Morgan Stanley: