On April 12, 2005 Jeff Simpson, one of three men who have accused Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers, wrote a light hearted letter to Murray wishing him well.
Simpson even enclosed a photo of him and his wife. Bob Sulkin, Murray’s defense attorney provided the letter to KING 5. Sulkin said it’s an important piece of evidence.
“The…hand written letter puts to rest any claim that Mr. Simpson was mistreated by the Mayor…This letter shows that Mr. Simpson’s claims are…false. Hopefully, this smear campaign will end,” said Sulkin.
Simpson started the letter with an upbeat salutation.
“Hey Ed, I hope this letter finds you in good spirits.”
Simpson, who is now 49 years old, continued by writing he had seen Murray on television answering questions from reporters. At the time Murray was a Senator in the Washington state legislature.
“You looked very good on TV yesterday. It was good to see you and I must say you looked as though you were in your element. I swelled with a sense of pride watching you fielding questions from the press and watching your colleagues thanking you for all the work you had done. Anyway, good job!”
Simpson signed off by saying:
“God bless you Ed. Love ya lots, Jeff.”
Simpson wrote this letter 18 months before he unsuccessfully attempted to file a lawsuit against Murray for alleged sexual abuse. Simpson accused Murray of beginning the abuse in the 1980s when he was 13 years old and later that Murray paid him for sex.
“I was writing him to thank him and I had seen him on TV. (To understand why I wrote it) you would have to know me," Simpson said. "I’m an orphan…I have never had any parents. Ed filled those shoes for me.”
In the end Simpson’s attorney said he thought too much time had lapsed to continue with the suit against Murray in 2007.
“When I was in drug (recovery) my sponsor encouraged me to come forward and pursue the lawsuit (in 2007),” said Simpson by telephone on Thursday. “When I wrote the letter in 2005 I hadn’t accepted what had happened yet.”
Simpson said his relationship with Murray has been “confusing.” Simpson’s parents left him in state care when he was 3 years old. He met Murray at the age of six at the Parry Center for Children in Portland where he said Murray, in his 20s at the time, was a volunteer. Simpson said the abuse began when he was 13 and continued when Murray took Simpson in to live with him.
“I’m grateful that Ed took the time to pay attention to me and for the love that he had for me,” said Simpson. “He has done some terrible things to me, but Ed is the only person I know as a parent and father. Do I hate him? Absolutely not. I understand that he is sick…Ed continues to victimize me by calling me a con artist and a liar.”
More details came to light Thursday about Simpson’s criminal past that Simpson said he’s “ashamed of.” He has convictions that include false reporting to police, robbery, attempted burglary, forgery, prostitution, and attempted kidnapping.
“Mr. Simpson’s long criminal record establishes that he will engage in deceitful conduct to obtain money and hurt others. This record also establishes that he has made false claims against others who tried to help him. In fact, he has used eight different aliases. In short, one cannot even trust him when he gives his name,” said Sulkin.
Attorneys representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed on April 6 criticized Murray's camp for statements made about the alleged victims.
"I prosecuted serial pedophiles for years as a senior deputy prosecutor in King County. Our client and the other victims who have come forward have independently described strikingly similar accounts of Mr. Murray’s methodology of sexually abusing vulnerable young men," said attorney Julie Kays. "Given these striking similarities….Mr. Murray’s decision to attack our client, and the other victims, smells like nothing more than desperation."
Simpson said he has been drug-free for years and no longer engages in criminal activity. He said he had not talked about the abuse for years but is speaking out now after being contacted by the Seattle Times for an article that revealed another man, known only as D.H., filed a lawsuit with similar allegations against the mayor.