Al Gore accused of sex assault by masseuse
A MASSEUSE has accused Al Gore, the former US vice-president, of sexually assaulting her at an Oregon hotel during a global warming lecture tour in 2006.
The unidentified 54-year-old woman gave police a detailed account of her claims that Mr Gore touched and kissed her in an aggressive attempt to have sexual intercourse during a night-time appointment in his suite. However, the police concluded that there was insufficient evidence to press charges.
The woman, who told Mr Gore that he was behaving like a "crazed sex poodle", claimed that he pinned her to his bed and forcibly kissed her. She said Mr Gore (62) was staying in an expensive hotel in Portland while delivering a speech about climate change in October of that year. He had registered as "Mr Stone", she said.
He allegedly asked the hotel to call the massage therapist to his suite, complaining to her during the $540 (€437) session about the physical rigours of his heavy travel schedule.
The accuser, after contacting police in late 2006, subsequently cancelled three interviews with detectives and said she did not want the investigation to proceed.
However, she contacted them again in January last year and gave a detailed statement.
A spokesman for Mr Gore, who announced his separation from his wife, Tipper, on June 1, said he had no comment. In her statement, made public by police, the masseuse said she arrived at the St Lucia Hotel's VIP suite to find Mr Gore drinking beer. He greeted her with a hug and told her to call him "Al", she told police.
However, the nearly three-hour therapy session soon turned sour after Mr Gore insisted that she massage him around his groin. He then pounced on her, she claimed.
"He pleaded, groped me, grabbed me, engulfed me in embrace, tongue-kissed me, massaged me, grabbed my breasts," she told detectives.
She said she feared he might rape her as he "flipped me flat on my back and threw his whole body face down over me, pinning me down and outweighing me by quite a bit". The woman said Mr Gore gave a "dramatic display of violent temper as well as (an) extremely dictatorial, commanding attitude besides his smiley, global warming concern persona".
Having squirmed out of his grasp, she fled from his suite. The masseuse told police she had not immediately called them because she "feared being made into a public spectacle".
She also insisted she was not interesting in making money from the case because she did not want to be "labelled a gold digger". However, having decided against suing Mr Gore, she reportedly sold her story to the 'National Enquirer' magazine for $1m (€0.81m).
Mr Gore was Bill Clinton's vice-president for eight years and narrowly lost the presidency to George W Bush in 2000.
He then built a reputation as a leading campaigner against global warming, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. (© Daily Telegraph, London)