The wife of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich, has been accused of punching a woman in the eye during a bar fight.

A spokesman for Monica Conyers, a city councilwoman-elect, confirmed Friday that she was involved in an altercation. But he said Conyers merely defended herself after being attacked by another woman.

The spokesman said Rebecca Mews became upset Tuesday during a birthday celebration for an attorney, who Mews says was her date. While Conyers was speaking with the man, Mews "came over and literally started spewing obscene names," and shoved Conyers, said Conyers' chief of staff, Sam Riddle.

"This woman was obviously drunk, and the councilwoman vigorously defended herself," he said.

Mews, who appeared on WDIV-TV on Thursday with a black eye, denied she was intoxicated. Mews said that when Conyers began speaking to her date with her back to her, she tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Pardon me."

"She turned around and began yelling at me," Mews said. "When I began yelling back at her, she punches me in my left eye several times," Mews said. "I never struck her. Never once did I hit her."

A message seeking comment was left Friday at a telephone listing for Mews.

Both women filed police reports. A message left with police Friday was not immediately returned.