Last week, Portland Monthly and ProPublica ran a story detailing three women's accounts of unwelcome sexual advances from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Sondland, who was a prominent Portland businessman before he was a sitting ambassador, fervently denied the claims.
The story has prompted responses from a slew of local outlets and public figures. City Commissioner Nick Fish, who introduced one of the women to Sondland back in 2010, posted a statement to Facebook saying that he’s “outraged by Mr. Sondland’s pattern of inappropriate behavior” and that he will donate $1,500 (the amount Sondland contributed to Fish's campaign back ’08–’09) to Call to Safety, a local women’s crisis line.
In an internal message to employees of Provenance, Sondland’s hospitality company, current president/CEO Bashar Wali said he “personally know[s] nothing of the allegations except what [he’s] read,” that “no incident regarding Ambassador Sondland ha[s] ever been reported to [him],” and that “when people share stories like these these, [he] listen[s] and take[s] them very seriously.”
"Gordon Sondland has been a generous supporter of the Portland Art Museum, including serving as a past president of our board of trustees," said PAM director Brian Ferriso in a public statement. A staircase in the building bears Sondland's name and that of his wife. "The report published by Portland Monthly and ProPublica contains multiple serious allegations. Our mission is to be a Museum that is accessible, safe and welcoming for everyone in our community. We are reviewing our policies to ensure that they are transparent and reflect our institution’s goals and values. We will be referring to those policies as we identify next steps in light of this report and any information that may follow."