Politics

Lori Lightfoot laughs off absurd-sounding “homophobic” sex scandal rumors

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootPhoto: MacLean Center

Lori Lightfoot addressed quickly-spreading rumors that she had been caught having an extramarital affair and her resignation as the mayor of Chicago was imminent.

In a series of tweets, the first out mayor of the nation’s third-largest city said it was “shocking and disappointing” that the rumors were being discussed and reported on. Amidst a week of heightened scrutiny, Lightfoot dismissed her detractors and told them “get out of the way.”

Related: Out Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot savages Mitch McConnell: “Dear God, stop the nonsense”

Over the last day, rumors gained traction that Lightfoot was going to resign from her post.

According to Bossip, the rumors allege that Lightfoot had cheated on her wife and had extramarital affairs in hotels around Chicago, with the city footing the bill. One woman that Lightfoot allegedly had an affair with also had a boyfriend, and when he was caught with a gun, Lightfoot supposedly had to cover it up to prevent him from making the affair public.

Posts online where the unfounded rumors originate from also claim that her wife, Amy Eshleman, found out about the affair and got into a physical altercation with Lightfoot, leading their daughter to report them to the police.

Political activist and former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green posted a now-deleted tweet that led many to believe the rumor, writing, “Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship. WOW.”

Green clarified in subsequent tweets that that was not his intent, and he challenged Lightfoot to clear up the allegations. “I would never talk about people personal lives. Not my place and I wouldn’t ever feed that rumor about Lori Lightfoot and her wife,” he claimed.

“If something isn’t true, simply put out a statement and kill the rumor,” he subsequently tweeted. “We all hope the resignation is true but the reason should be one of your former scandals.”

Many took the opportunity to joke about the absurdity of the rumors, before Lightfoot joined in today.

“Good morning from my mansion in Sauganash,” Lightfoot tweeted today, referring to a previous rumor that she was going to move out of the city to a mansion in the affluent area of Sauganash.

“Seriously, though — our city doesn’t have any time for homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumors, today or any day. It’s shocking and disappointing to see some media members and verified Twitter handles are peddling this trash as truth.”

She then criticized those trying to dig up dirt on her while she attempts to lead Chicago.

“If people hadn’t noticed, we have major challenges in Chicago we need to address TOGETHER. This nonsense that some apparently have the luxury of indulging in has not fed one person, stopped the pandemic, housed anyone living on the street or saved one young person.”

She further issued a challenge to others: “Anyone who wants to work with me to make progress, I’m ready…The rest of you, get out of the way.”

“I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people’s work. The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.”

Despite making light of the rumors and dismissing claims that she will resign, many are seriously calling for Lightfoot to resign. Several reports indicate that her response to police brutality, protests objecting to police brutality, and the lack of accountability that the Chicago Police Department has faced under her administration has been unacceptable.

Lightfoot has faced serious criticism from those seeking public accountability in the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer. The city released footage of CPD officers chasing Toledo after reports of gunfire, then firing on the teen after he dropped what CPD reports as a weapon and complied with an officer’s instruction for him to put his hands up.

Lightfoot had previously amplified authorities’ claims that Toledo had fired a gun directly at police when he was shot and killed. The footage did not match those version of events.

“In a tough week for Chicago, some are spreading homophobic rumors about @LoriLightfoot,” the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund tweeted, “using Qanon-style tactics. They are untrue and should be condemned by all who are sick of blatant lies and the harm they cause to our democracy.”

Lightfoot won election in a run-off that concluded in 2019. She became the only black lesbian mayor in the nation – and the first out mayor of one of America’s three largest cities.

Was Chandler from “Friends” meant to be gay? It seems he almost was.

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