Ex-congressman Filner denies DeGette allegations he forced kiss

DENVER (AP) — U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette alleges that former California congressman Bob Filner tried to kiss her in an elevator while they were serving in Congress together.

The Colorado Democrat told MSNBC's "MTP Daily" on Monday that Filner tried to pin her against the elevator's door and kiss her but that she pushed him away.

DeGette spokeswoman Lynne Weil said Tuesday that the incident happened in 2009 or 2010. She said DeGette did not file a complaint. She said DeGette told her chief of staff and husband about what happened at the time.

Filner denied the allegation, simply saying in an email: "It never happened."

Filner, a Democrat, served in Congress from 1993 to 2012. He resigned as San Diego mayor in 2013 amid sexual harassment allegations. He served three months of house arrest after pleaded guilty in three cases — manhandling a woman at a fundraising event on March 6, 2013, kissing a woman without her consent at a "Meet the Mayor" event at City Hall, and grabbing a woman's buttocks at a cleanup event.

DeGette said she's concerned about people's reluctance to identify sexual harassers in Congress because that allows them to continue their behavior.

"I was his colleague. He couldn't take action against me and believe you me, I never got in an elevator with him again," she told host Katy Tur. "But what concerns be now, which should concern everybody, is what about the young staffers, what about the interns, was this happening with them too?"

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