A Pennsylvania congressman who was accused of sexual harassment by a young aide surprised everyone when – instead of vehemently denying the allegations like so many other public figures have – he insisted that he was simply infatuated with the woman because she is his “soul mate.”
Pat Meehan, a Republican and a married father of three, said that he never tried to enter a romantic relationship with the woman. He also confessed to paying her a secret settlement with taxpayer funds but would not disclose the amount.
When Meehan found out that the woman had entered a serious relationship with somebody else and might quit her job, the congressman reacted “poorly.” He publicized a letter he wrote to her in May as a way of saying goodbye.
“As you bask in this moment of extreme joy, I want to share with you my sentiment of how richly it is deserved,” Meehan told her. “You are kind and sensitive and caring and infectious with your laugh. You are and have been a complete partner to me and you brought me much happiness. It is a very, very lucky man who might get to be your partner for more of your life.”
The woman sent him a text message the next day thanking Meehan “for your very kind words and for your friendship.”
In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Meehan said that he would repay the public money he spent to cover up the scandal, but only if the Ethics Committee concludes that he harassed the woman.
Meehan described a close working relationship that led him to develop feelings for her. When he finally dished to her about his crush, they exchanged a hug that was “maybe longer that night than needed to be,” but he denied any other physical interactions.