Follow-up from Buzzfeed:https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahallam/wo ... .fyDoWb3vj
It's a little hard to say for certain whose account is correct here, but they did give her a chance to respond and provide evidences. The alleged harrassment occurred when nobody else was present according to the alleged victim, so no third party could have direct knowledge.
Why would she have lied though?
Otoh, witnesses back up Sarsour's version, so . . .
It does seem clear that she did not believe the accuser. Whether she took the accusations seriously and investigated them properly before dismissing the claims is hard to know from this.
The Daily Caller story is based on the account provided by Fathelbab and information from “two people who knew Fathelbab during her time at the Arab American Association,” and another anonymous person identified as a “New York political operative.” These three other sources, according to the Daily Caller, independently confirmed her account. Because they were not named, BuzzFeed could not verify their stories.
Two anonymous people and a "political operative".
Sarsour said she’s “dumbfounded” by Fathelbab’s version of what happened. As referenced in the documents Sarsour provided, she gave ACCESS an affidavit dated Aug. 13, 2009. Sarsour defended Seif in the statement and wrote that it was Fathelbab who was creating a hostile environment by telling co-workers stories of alleged harassment.
Sarsour told ACCESS she’d looked into the claims and found “no substantial evidence or any testimonies from anyone about the alleged accusations.” Even so, Sarsour continued, she talked with Seif about the claims and asked him to stay “as far away as possible” from Fathelbab to avoid worsening the issue. Seif denied Fathelbab’s claims at the time, and he does to to this day. Sarsour said she’d considered the matter settled — until hearing five months later that Fathelbab had told ACCESS about the claims.
Sarsour told BuzzFeed that none of Fathelbab’s claims to the Daily Caller matched the account she brought to Sarsour nearly nine years ago.
“The exact words were, ‘He makes me feel uncomfortable,’” Sarsour said. “There was nothing about touching or groping. There’s no evidence, no email, she can pull out where she ever gave those claims to us.”
As for the claims about body-shaming, Sarsour said, that “never, ever” happened.
“This is character assassination,” she said. “This is where we have to draw the line. I have two daughters. This is not the type of behavior I engage in.”
Sarsour provided BuzzFeed News several materials supporting her version of events, including:
An August 13, 2009, statement to ACCESS by Seif, the accused volunteer, who said he’d never been around Fathelbab without another staff member present and that the claims against him were “offensive and hurtful.”
Signed statements dated August 14, 2009, in which two staff members who worked closely with Fathelbab told ACCESS they had no reason to believe the claims had merit.
BuzzFeed News interviewed both of the former co-workers who provided statements in 2009, and both said they stood by their accounts.
One, Jihad Kifayeh, said Fathelbab was a good friend of his in the office — they often ate lunch together and she let him use her car a couple of times. He said he took her claims seriously when she told him and other co-workers that Seif was harassing her, even monitoring Seif’s behavior around her for any sign of misconduct.
“If this was my sister, I would expect the same,” Kifayeh said. “I wanted to get to the bottom of it. We watched Majed before we even let him know.”
Seif did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News on Monday.
He and co-workers kept digging, Kifayeh said, but found nothing to corroborate Fathelbab’s claims. He said some of her stories sounded logistically impossible in a bustling, tightly knit office where staffers were rarely, if ever, alone. He also said she never described physical harassment or groping. “This is a new aspect to the story I’ve never heard before. It was always, ‘He’s stalking me, he’s following me,’ but never anything about touching,” he said.
“We were like, ‘How? When?’” Kifayeh said. “It’s not like we all disappear. We all come in at the same time and we leave at the same time.”
The other former co-worker, a man who shared an office with Fathelbab for a year, agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because he wanted to protect his family from the social media firestorm that’s erupted around the story.
The former colleague said he never heard her scream at the top of her lungs as she told the Daily Caller. He said Seif would enter and exit a room silently on his usual business and she’d insist he was following her. The former colleague said it was clear to him and others in the office that her claims were baseless.
“Linda did what she was supposed to do. She had a meeting, got our perspective, got our witness accounts. What else could she do?” he said. “I thought this was over and done with nine years ago.”
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.