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In an open letter set to be published Monday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Larry Flynt is offering “between $50,000 and $1 million” to anyone with proof that a top adviser to Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is guilty of sexual harassment.
“Dr. Carson, Heal Thyself!” the Hustler publisher begins in the paid ad, then goes on to describe a nearly 20-year-old lawsuit against Armstrong Williams, a conservative radio personality whom Carson has described as being part of a “package deal” should he be elected president.
“Armstrong Williams, your brother in faith and the person you say you trust more than anyone else outside of your immediate family,” Flynt writes, “settled a lawsuit out of court after affidavits provided allegations that he initiated unwanted sexual advances toward other men.”
In 1998, Williams was accused by former personal trainer Stephen Gregory of more than 50 separate incidents of sexual harassment. In the filing, Gregory says that Williams repeatedly “kissed him on the mouth, grabbed his buttocks and genitals and climbed into bed with him on business trips.”
When Gregory refused the advances, Gregory claimed in the suit, Williams retaliated by firing him. Gregory sought $200,000 in damages but ultimately settled with Williams out of court.
In his letter, Flynt accuses Carson of being “a hypocrite” for associating with Williams. “You have linked gays with bestiality and the North American Man/Boy Love Association. You have opposed same-sex marriage, accusing marriage equality advocates of ‘directly attacking the relationship between God and his people,'” Flynt asserts (accurately). “Yet, you have partnered with an accused sexual predator.”
Flynt then demands that Carson “disavow any and all relations” with Williams at Tuesday’s Republican debate on CNN. If the candidate — whose most recent headline-grabbing move was to threaten to abandon the Republican party entirely — fails to do so, Flynt says he will pay for “confirmable information” relating to the “curious relationship” between Williams and Gregory.
Flynt has a long history of offering hefty cash payouts to prove conservative politicians are guilty of unlawful, unsavory and hypocritical behavior. At the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he offered $1 million for evidence that Bill Clinton’s Republican foes had committed acts of adultery. In 2012, he put up a similar bounty for stories of “infidelity, sexual impropriety or corruption” involving members of Congress.
Carson’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
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