On Tuesday, nurse Michelle Tyler accused San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexually harassing her when she met with him to ask for help for her injured Marine friend, Kathryn Reggazino. After the meeting, Filner reportedly asked everyone to leave the office except Tyler.
Tyler alleged Filner was “rubbing her elbow and telling me to relax.” He told her she was “incredible” and asked if she was single. He said he would help her injured friend in exchange for a date. From NBC 7:
“It was extremely disturbing to me that he made it very clear that his expectation was that his help for Kathryn depended on my willingness to go to dinner with him, spend personal time with him and be seen in public with him,” Tyler said.
“I felt that his rubbing my arm and telling me help for Kathryn was contingent on my going out with him was extremely inappropriate and unacceptable,” Tyler said.
Reggazino suffered a brain injury during her service and subsequent PTSD. She was homeless and living out of her car when she met Tyler. She provided a statement while choking back tears.
“I don’t appreciate being used as a bargaining chip to fulfill his sexual desires,” Raggazino said wiping away tears.
“I hope that Mayor Filner will never have the opportunity or be in the position to do what he did to Michelle or to any other person again,” Raggazino said.
Tyler and Reggazino will not be filing a lawsuit, but lawyer Gloria Allred is encouraging San Diego to look into their situation. She filed a lawsuit on behalf of Filner’s former communications director Irene McCormack.
So far, 11 women have accused Filner of sexual harassment, and one woman claimed he made her feel very uncomfortable. Allred also announced she has been contacted by more women but would not comment on any of them at this time. She said she hopes more victims will come forward and call the sheriff’s hotline.
Filner started two weeks of therapy on Monday and is scheduled for questioning by the City Attorney’s Office on Friday.