A male staffer who worked for Herschel Walker’s failed Senate campaign has accused highly influential Republican Matt Schlapp of groping him without his consent.
The staffer alleged to The Daily Beast that on October 19 Schlapp – who had come to Atlanta for a Walker campaign event – sexually assaulted him while he was driving Schlapp back to his hotel from a bar.
The staffer – who chose to remain anonymous for now, but said he may reveal who he is if Schlapp denies the allegations – said Schlapp “groped” and “fondled” his genitals in the car and that his actions were “sustained and unwanted and unsolicited.”
He said that before the groping Schlapp had been making advances toward him while out at two bars – buying him drinks and violating his personal space while claiming he wanted to discuss the staffer’s professional future.
“It was a public space, and I was thinking that he got the hint. I did not want to embarrass him,” the staffer told the Daily Beast. “But it escalated.”
Schlapp is the chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU), as well as the lead organizer for the far-right Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
In 2022, the CPAC theme was “Awake Not Woke” and included speeches with titles like “Obamacare Still Kills,” “Put Him To Bed, Lock Her Up and Send Her to the Border,” and “Fire Fauci.” Speakers included conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and former President Donald Trump.
At the time, Schlapp told Fox News, “I’m expecting CPAC Florida to be a packed house because America is experiencing a great Un-Wokening.”
During the incident with Schlapp in the car, the staffer said he was in shock and frozen, but when Schlapp subsequently invited him up to his hotel room, he said no and fled.
The same night, after Schlapp called the staffer to confirm he would still drive him to an event the following day, the staffer said he “broke down” and proceeded to record videos explaining what happened.
“Matt Schlapp of the CPAC grabbed my junk and pummeled it at length, and I’m sitting there thinking what the hell is going on, that this person is literally doing this to me,” he said in one of the videos, according to The Daily Beast.
“From the bar to the Hilton Garden Inn, he has his hands on me. And I feel so f**king dirty. I feel so f**king dirty. I’m supposed to pick this motherf**ker up in the morning and just pretend like nothing happened.”
But when Schlapp showed up for the ride the next day, the staffer said he couldn’t do it. He called a senior official with the campaign, who he said was “horrified” and that he should not drive Schlapp. The campaign official also told the staffer to tell Schlapp in writing that he made him uncomfortable.
The staffer shared his text exchange with Schlapp with the Daily Beast. After he told Schlapp he made him uncomfortable, Schlapp repeatedly begged him to call, but the staffer never did.
“If you could see it in your heart to call me at the end of day. I would appreciate it,” Schlapp wrote. “If not I wish you luck on the campaign and hope you keep up the good work.”
According to the staffer, that was the last they spoke to each other.
An official from Walker’s campaign confirmed the staffer’s story and said the campaign had helped the staffer seek legal counsel after the incident.
The staffer said Walker’s campaign was extremely supportive and gave him “complete autonomy” over whether he wanted to press charges. At the time, he was afraid doing so would affect his career as well as contribute to the “circus of scandals” that led to the downfall of Walker’s campaign.
Walker’s campaign was plagued with controversy as more and more women came forward with accusations that he fathered their children but didn’t raise them, that he paid for or pressured them to get abortions, and that he was abusive towards them. Walker denied all the accusations made in 2022, calling them part of a vast Democratic conspiracy against him – with some of his supporters suggesting Satan was behind the accusations – but he didn’t deny his ex-wife’s accusations of threats and abuse, saying that he didn’t remember hurting her.
He also heavily relied on anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in his campaign, attacking transgender people in ads and on the campaign trail.
Walker, himself, did not respond to the Daily Beast‘s request for comment and so it is unknown whether he was told about the allegations.
Schlapp’s attorney, Charlie Spies, shared a statement denying the staffer’s allegations.
“This appears to be now the twelfth Daily Beast piece with personal attacks on Matt Schlapp and his family,” Spies said. “The attack is false and Mr. Schlapp denies any improper behavior. We are evaluating legal options for response.”