Mayor Who Honored Stormy Daniels Settled $500,000 Sexual Harassment Claim in 2016

Stormy Daniels and John Duran (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)
Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran, who honored porn star Stormy Daniels last week for her role in leading the “resistance” to President Donald Trump, faced sexual harassment claims that led to the city paying out $500,000 on his behalf in 2016.

The Los Angeles Times reported at the time:

A former aide to West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran who sued the city and his boss alleging sexual harassment and wrongful punishment is set to receive $500,000 after settling with both parties earlier this month, according to the agreement obtained by The Times.

Under the terms of the settlement with former City Council deputy Ian Owens, Duran and the city admitted no wrongdoing.

Duran has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying Owens did not accuse him of harassment until he was accused of wrongdoing himself.

Duran has acknowledged that he and Owens were intimate and that they met through Grindr. He said they became friends and that he hired Owens because his degree in finance and experience in hotel development and real estate made him well-qualified for the job.

Duran, now mayor of the city, escaped pressure to resign. The accusations and settlement happened almost two years before the “#metoo” and “Time’s Up” movements began to champion the victims of sexual harassment and violence.

Mayor Duran declared May 23 “Stormy Daniels Day” and gave her a symbolic key to the city. “Our values have been under threat by the Trump administration for the past year-and-a-half,” he said at the ceremony, praising Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, for fighting back.

One angry member of the public actually mentioned the sexual harassment claims against Duran at the event outside the Chi Chi LaRue gay sex shop on Santa Monica Boulevard.

“I think it’s complete B.S.,” she said, referring to the award ceremony, shortly before it began. “This is so ridiculous. It’s completely hypocritical. The mayor who is giving this to her has silenced people who have filed sexual harassment lawsuits against him. And what connection does this woman have to the City of West Hollywood? I would say none.”

The woman’s comments were caught on video at 4:23, below.

She added: “I’m definitely not a fan of ’45,’ however, what happened between [Stormy Daniels] and him happened about 12 years ago, so what does it matter to me now? And I don’t see her as a feminist leader.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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