How Rep. David Wu Is Just Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 26 2011 1:43 PM

How Rep. David Wu Is Just Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

2738605
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

News broke on Friday that Oregon Rep. David Wu had been accused of an "aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter" with a young woman, who is identified by the Oregonian as the daughter of a longtime campaign donor and friend of the (soon-to-be former) congressman. With all of the other news on Friday and over the weekend—the horrific deaths in Oslo, the debt ceiling debacle, and the untimely passing of Amy Winehouse—this news didn't get much play. Today Wu released a statement, saying he will resign once the debt talks are resolved. (Weigel has the full statement here.)

Jessica Grose Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

The story is getting much more pick-up now that he's resigned, and the details are truly unsavory.The Oregonian refers to a voicemail that the young woman left, in which she outlined the details of Wu's assault.

Advertisement

Two people with knowledge of the recording and the later conversation with Wu said the alleged incident took place over Thanksgiving weekend. Sources said they were told that the woman went outside and Wu left after her. The sexual encounter followed, they said.

Two sources said the woman believed there was not enough evidence to press charges. There were no witnesses, and it would be her word against a seven-term member of the U.S. Congress.

What's more, when Wu was a student at Stanford, he was discplined for a different forced sexual encounter. This information came to light in 2004 (also through the Oregonian's reporting). Wu's scenario sounds quite similar to what had happened just south of Oregon the year before: the Los Angeles Times published a meaty story about the women that gubernatorial-hopeful Arnold Schwarzenegger had allegedly sexually assaulted on movie sets. The outcome then was the same for Schwarzenegger as it was for Wu: They were both elected. Wu's brazenness—allegedly assaulting the daughter of a friend!—mirror's Schwarzenegger's gall in having an affair with a domestic employee who even vacationed with his family.

I really don't know what else to say about this pair. At this point I'm not even surprised when these sorts of charges emerge—just endlessly weary.

TODAY IN SLATE

The Slatest

Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

The legendary Washington Post editor presided over the paper’s Watergate coverage.

This Scene From All The President’s Men Captures Ben Bradlee’s Genius

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.