John Conyers resigned immediately after woman accused him of assaulting her in church

December 6, 2017

John Conyers resigned immediately after woman accused him of assaulting her in church Stanley Zimny / CCL

Rep. John Conyers, the man who was once hailed as a hero of the Civil Rights movement, hasn’t had the best week. After a short stint in a hospital and calls from many of his colleagues to step aside amid sexual misconduct allegations, the Michigan Democrat finally resigned on Tuesday.

But now, new reports indicate that the congressman didn’t step down because his colleagues wanted him to. Instead, Conyers’ resignation came as yet another woman came forward to claim that he groped her in church. 

Elisa Grubbs, who worked for Conyers for more than a decade from 2001 to 2013, claims that Conyers put his hands up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while the two sat together in a front-row pew at church.

The New Allegations

Grubbs’ allegation came in the form of an affidavit that was released by attorney Lisa Bloom on Monday.

“Rep. Conyers slid his hand up my skirt and rubbed my thighs while I was sitting next to him in the front row of a church,” Grubbs said in the affidavit. “I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, ‘He just ran his hand up my thigh!’ Other staffers witnessed the event.”

Grubbs is the cousin of Marion Brown, another Conyers accuser.

Bloom, who is making a name for herself as a leader in sexual harassment legislation, has made headlines recently for expressing her regret for previously representing sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein.

“I can see that my just being associated with this was a mistake,” Bloom told Buzzfeed in October. “All I can say is, from my perspective, I thought, ‘Here is my chance to get to the root of the problem from the inside. I am usually on the outside throwing stones. Here is my chance to be in the inside and to get a guy to handle this thing in a different way.'”

Resign and Reign

Rep. Conyers stepped down from his House seat in light of this most recent allegation, but told a Detroit-based radio station that he wanted his son, John Conyers III, to take his vacant seat in Detroit. He said:

This too shall pass. And I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children.

The younger Conyers has very little in terms of political experience, however, and hasn’t had the best upbringing himself.

In 2010, Conyers III, who is now 27, was caught speeding in a government-leased vehicle. Additionally, the former representative’s son was once an amateur rapper who wrote lyrics that glorified drug deals, including: “my [censored] turn grams into grands” and “ay [censored] making a living bro, I’m trying to make history.”

At one point, the younger Conyers even called his father a “f***ing player.”

An Uphill Battle

But Conyers III won’t just be up against himself. He will also struggle with detaching himself from the tainted legacy that has plagued his father.

Prior to Grubbs’ accusation, several other women came forward to accuse the elder Conyers of sexual harassment. Conyers’ staffer Deanne Maher claimed that the representative undressed and made sexual advances to her in a Washington hotel room that he made them share.

“He sat there eating sandwiches and then he stormed out and slammed the door. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself for being so stupid. I needed a job,” Maher told reporters.

Additionally, Delores Lyons, who worked for Conyers between 2010 and 2014, claimed that the congressman fondled her three different times, including an incident in which Conyers placed Lyons’ hand on his genitals while she was driving.

Though Conyers downplayed these incidents until the latest allegations, it doesn’t really matter what caused the long-standing congressman to resign — we’re just glad he’s gone for good.

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Benjamin Welton

Benjamin Welton is a writer based in Boston. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic Magazine and The Daily Caller. He has an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Vermont and Bachelors degrees in English Literature and History from West Virginia University.