Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he is in it for the long haul – both personally and politically – in the wake of allegations he sexually molested a boy in the 1980s.
In an exclusive interview with KING 5, Murray denied the accusations and said he and his husband, Michael Shiosaki, will not back down from a full legal battle. They believe the citizens of Seattle are level headed and will give him a fair shake.
“I really do (feel like I have a political future). I believe I have a great record to run on. I feel like I have a great story to tell going forward about what I want to do for this city, what I am doing for this city. I believe this is a fair city that will give me chance,” said Murray.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court April 6 is a now 46-year-old man from Kent known only as D.H. Murray said he still does not know the identity of D.H., who claimed he met Murray on Metro bus No. 7 when he was 15 and the Mayor was in his early 30s. He alleged Murray invited him to his apartment where he was propositioned to engage in sexual relations in exchange for money – “a form of child prostitution,” wrote attorneys for D.H.
“I don’t know who this person is so I’m kind of in a tough situation. I’m waiting to find out more information and when I do I’ll absolutely tell the public what’s going on here,” said Murray.
The allegations in the legal complaint are serious and detailed.
“Mr. Murray indicated that he enjoyed sex more if D.H. was dirty – literally unclean – and told D.H. not to bathe prior to sex,” wrote attorneys in the lawsuit. “At the time, and likely still so, Mr. Murray had a distinctive genital region including…a unique mole on his scrotum – it is a small bump.”
On April 6, KING 5 broke the news that Murray had undergone a physical examination that day by his personal physician that showed “No testicular masses or lumps…No dermatological lesions such as a mole, freckle or keratosis present….No sears or evidence of prior surgery or dermatologic procedures.”
Murray’s attorney, Bob Sulkin, called the revelation a “game changer” and urged the plaintiff to drop the case.
On Monday the Mayor said he would consent to an examination by an independent doctor.
“Sure, I’m willing to have another exam. Let’s go to the University of Washington and do another exam. I find the whole thing humiliating, but let’s do it and then maybe they should consider dropping the case,” said Murray.
D.H. is the only person pursuing legal action, but two other men said they, too, were molested by Murray in the 1980s when they were teenagers. One of the accusers who lives in Florida now told his story to the Seattle Times, but has not spoken publically to other media outlets. The third person, Jeff Simpson, is Murray’s most outspoken accuser and has given three extensive interviews to KING.
“I’m willing to do anything that I can do to prove I am not lying,” said Simpson.
Simpson has a long criminal history that he said he’s “ashamed of” and in the mid 1980s he admits to being in contact with the now deceased Rev. Ken Hutcherson – a former Seattle Seahawk and well-known leader in the campaign to fight gay marriage in Washington state.
“It’s the nature of politics, back to the beginning of our republic. It’s the nature of politics and regrettably this is part of what happens with politics,” said Murray.
Soon after the sordid accusations became public, people began to call for the mayor to resign. Posts on KING 5 social media sites included:
“(The mayor) needs to go away!!!”
“He should be removed immediately.”
“Sorry, this mayor is out. Too many criminal accusations against him.”
On April 12 the Seattle Times editorial board urged the mayor to forego running for re-election.
“As mayor, Murray should put the city’s interests first. He should not run for re-re-election. Stepping aside would clear the way for another qualified pragmatic leader to come forward,” wrote members of the editorial board.
Murray said he will not resign and he will run for re-election. He said he is emotionally tough and able to run the city with full focus.
“I grew up in a family that was fairly poor, and one thing I took from that experience is that adversity makes you stronger, and this will make me a much better mayor than I would have been before. I prefer not to have had this lesson, but I believe it will make me stronger. It will make me stronger, and it will make me more humble,” said Murray.
Murray and Shiosaki said they have gotten a lot of support during these turbulent days.
“People have been incredibly supportive. It’s like I can’t get back to people fast enough,” said Murray.
The couple, who has been together for 26 years and married for four years, said they are going about their lives as normally as possible.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of. So you know what, we’re going to be out there, and be out and proud as we always have been,” said Shiosaki.
“We went to Easter Sunday mass, we west to Sunday brunch, we’ve been out to restaurants. I’m not going to hide in my own city,” said Murray.