New York Times political reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended pending the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, TheWrap has learned.
On Monday, Vox published a number of incriminating text messages that detailed what appeared to be a failed and unwanted sexual encounter between the 50-year-old White House correspondent and a 23-year-old journalist.
The report also detailed accusations of unwanted groping and kissing by Thrush toward other women, often in bars.
“The alleged behavior is very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times. We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended. We support his decision to enter a substance abuse program. In the meantime, we will not be commenting further,” a New York Times spokesperson told TheWrap.
Vox described a series of text between Thrush and Bianca Padró Ocasio, who said the the Times journalist had “lured” a young female journalist friend when they were both drunk into a secluded place before making an unwanted sexual advance.
“I want to make sure you don’t lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again. So help me out here. How can I do that?” said Ocasio.
Thrush said it had never his intention to lure anybody and that he had probably gotten too drunk that night because he had recently received bad health news.
“I am acutely aware of the hurdles that young women face in this business and have spent the better part of 20 years advocating for women journalists,” he wrote, according to the text.
The account, written by former Politico editor Laura McGann, also described a moment when she said Thrush cornered her at a bar booth and began kissing her without her consent when he was a reporter at the website.
“I was wearing a skirt, and he put his hand on my thigh. He started kissing me,” she wrote. “I pulled myself together and got out of there, shoving him on my way out.”
Thrush himself issued a lengthy statement Monday, apologizing for any actions that were inappropriate, but pointedly refuting McGann’s account.
“I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately,” he said. “Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable.”
Full statement from Glenn Thrush on the allegations that got him suspended pic.twitter.com/NvduNQP5fa
— Tom Kludt (@TomKludt) November 20, 2017
The news is an earthquake in media circles where Thrush has long been one of the most celebrated political reporters working the beat today.