Published July 01, 2010
Former Vice President Al Gore stands by his denial that he made unwanted sexual advances toward a massage therapist in 2006, a spokeswoman for the Gore family told Fox News.
"Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago," spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said in a statement Thursday. "He stands by that denial."
Police announced Wednesday that they are reopening an investigation into an Oregon massage therapist's allegations that Gore groped her at an upscale hotel in 2006.
The Portland Police Bureau, which initially didn't say why it was reopening the investigation, issued a statement Thursday saying a review of its 2009 investigation found procedural issues that warranted a re-opening of the case.
"There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward," the statement read. "It is our responsibility to both parties involved to conduct a thorough, fair and timely investigation."
Police earlier said they considered the case closed because there was no evidence.
Speaking of the probe, Kreider said that "Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore."
"The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading and inaccurate story generated by tabloids," she said.
The masseuse alleges Gore made unwanted sexual advances during a massage appointment on Oct. 24, 2006, at the downtown Hotel Lucia, where Gore was reportedly registered as "Mr. Stone." Gore was in Portland to deliver a speech on climate change.
The story first broke when the National Enquirer reported the allegations a week ago.
Fox News does not generally identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes.
Portland police last week said the woman's lawyer came to them with the allegations in 2006 but that the woman canceled appointments with detectives. The case was reopened in January 2009, when detectives interviewed the woman but determined there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations.
According to transcripts of the 2009 interview, the masseuse described the allegations at length. She said Gore groped, kissed and pinned her down on a bed. She told Gore he was acting like a "crazed sex poodle," according to the transcript.
The woman said she felt there would be consequences if she didn't cooperate.
"I feared that if I ran for the door to get out, I could or would be violently accosted by some security detail," she said. "I felt certain that any, even the smallest complaint from him to the hotel, could also destroy my work reputation."
While trying to pack up, she said Gore "wrapped me in an inescapable embrace," looked her in the eyes and touched her back, buttocks and breasts. She said she asked Gore to stop several times.
"I finally told him and said, you're being a crazed sex poodle, hoping he'd realize how weird he was being, yet he persisted," she told Detective Molly Daul.
The woman said Gore's "Mr. Smiley Global Warming" persona differed from his actions and made her afraid.
"I did not want to get hurt and I did not want to get raped," she said.
She said Gore demanded she drink cognac, though she told him she doesn't drink alcohol. She said Gore became enraged when she refused his advances.
"This is like people going nuts on the MAX (Portland's public transit system) and you want to get off before they beat you up," she said.
During the interview, the woman mentioned working as a masseuse for the lead singer of the Counting Crows, members of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan's family and NBA players.
After the alleged incident, the woman said she was dissuaded from contacting the police by liberal friends of hers, whom she refers to as "The Birkenstock Tribe," and of which she counts herself a member.
"It's like being the ultimate traitor," the woman said.
One friend "was basically asking me to just suck it up, otherwise the world's going to be destroyed from global warming," she said.
Gore and wife Tipper announced that they are separating on June 1 in an e-mail to friends.
Fox News' Mike Emanuel and the Associated Press contributed to this report