WaPo reporter files lawsuit against the paper for banning her from writing ...

WaPo reporter files lawsuit against the paper for banning her from writing ...
WaPo reporter files lawsuit against the paper for banning her from writing ...

A political breaking news reporter for the Washington Post is suing the outlet and its top executives for banning her from writing about sexual assault cases as an alleged sexual assault survivor.

In court documents submitted to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday, Felicia Sonmez claims editors at the Post prohibited her from covering any stories involving sexual assault allegations after she released a statement about her own alleged sexual assault in 2018.

As a result, she argues, she has not been able to write about the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Joe Biden or Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The ban was ultimately lifted earlier this year after Sonmez took to Twitter to call out the publication for its policy - but Sonmez's attorneys claim in the court documents the damage had already been done.

Felicia Sonmez

Former Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron

 Breaking news political reporter Felicia Sonmez, left, claims her bosses at the Washington Post prohibited her from writing about sexual assault, under the leadership of former Executive Editor Marty Baron

In court documents filed Thursday, she claims she suffered from 'economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, mental and emotional distress and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment opportunities' as a result of the ban

In court documents filed Thursday, she claims she suffered from 'economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, mental and emotional distress and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment opportunities' as a result of the ban

They say in the lawsuit she suffered from 'economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, mental and emotional distress and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment opportunities' as a result of the ban. 

'At various times, Ms. Sonmez became severely depressed, developed intense anxiety and received treatment from therapists and psychiatrists who she continues to see today,' the lawsuit, obtained by DailyMail.com, reads. 

It claims she was prescribed anti-depressants, which she continues to take, and developed TMJ from grinding her teeth at night. 

As a result, the lawsuit states, she 'had to undergo two oral surgery procedures to relieve the pain in her jaw.'

Washington Post officials declined to comment to DailyMail.com on the lawsuit, which names not only the paper as a defendant, but also former Executive Editor Marty Baron, Managing Editor Tracy Grant, Managing Editor Cameron Barr, National Editor Steven Ginsberg , National Editor Lori Montgomery and Senior Politics Editor Peter Wallsten.

In a statement to CNN, Sonmez said she filed the lawsuit because she believes 'survivors of trauma, including sexual assault, deserve the full support of their newsrooms.

'They should never have to fear that they will be punished, silenced or barred from doing their jobs because of what was done to them,' she said.

She is seeking punitive and compensatory damages in the lawsuit, as well as a permanent injunction ordering The Post and its editors to 'take all affirmative steps necessary to remedy the effects of the illegal, discriminatory and retaliatory conduct described in the lawsuit.'

 

Sonmez filed the lawsuit in  the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday claiming she was discriminated against because she was a victim of sexual assault

Sonmez filed the lawsuit in  the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday claiming she was discriminated against because she was a victim of sexual assault

Sonmez has previously claimed that she was sexually assaulted by the LA Times' Beijing bureau chief in 2017, while she was on assignment in the city.

Several months after her alleged encounter, another woman wrote on Medium.com that she had also been sexually assaulted by the bureau chief, at which time Sonmez wrote a letter to the FCCC detailing her allegations against him, which she also sent to the LA Times 'because they failed to take any observable action,' the lawsuit says.

Sonmez went for an interview at the Washington Post a little more than a week later, it states, at which time executives allegedly asked her why she decided to speak out, to which Sonmez reportedly replied that she was not convinced her accuser was 'being truthful about his behavior, that other woman had similar stories and that if she stayed silent, more women could be harmed by him.'

The man she claims sexually assaulted her has repeatedly denied these claims, and said that the encounter was consensual. 

She was hired shortly thereafter, and, the lawsuit claims, officials at the Post agreed to let her release a statement about the alleged sexual assault. 

The day she issued her statement, though, the lawsuit says, her editors decided to cancel her MSNBC appearance, in which she would talk about her article detailing Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

'Defendant's jurisdiction for this ban was that the details of Ms. Ford's accusations were "too similar" to the assault Ms. Sonmez experienced in Beijing,' the lawsuit states. 'This ban was later expanded to include all #MeToo-related coverage.'

As the ban on covering the Kavanaugh case continued, Sonmez claims she wrote in an email to her bosses: 'I now feel frustrated and uncomfortable being in the newsroom but unable to report on this story...

'I feel that I have been sideline d from this story based on what happened to me in Beijing... and I strongly disagree with the decision,' she wrote.

Executives then reportedly

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