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Pimp of The Year: James O’Keefe Accused of Sexual Harassment

By CL - Posted on 23 December 2011


The Record reporter Chris Harris appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Thursday night to discuss the possible civil sexual harassment lawsuit against conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe.

Conservative blogger Nadia Naffe accused O’Keefe of sending her harassing messages after she backed out of an upcoming hidden camera sting on the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in New York City. Judge Alan Karch dismissed the criminal complaint against O’Keefe because there was insufficient evidence showing the harassment originated in Westwood, where O’Keefe lives with his parents.

“Ultimately, he couldn’t prove that all of it stemmed or originated from his jurisdiction,” Harris explained. “So therefore the charges wouldn’t stick in his court.”


But the judge informed her that she could pursue a civil complaint.

Naffe also vaguely suggested that O’Keefe drugged her, and that she passed out while O’Keefe and a friend were taking her to the train station. When she awoke, she allegedly found underwear and a wireless mouse had been stolen from her luggage, according to Harris’ reportabout the hearing.





A criminal complaint of harassment against James E. O’Keefe III of Westwood, who has gained fame — and notoriety — as a video-producing conservative American muckraker, was dismissed Wednesday when his hometown’s judge decided there was insufficient cause for the matter to proceed in criminal court.


The Nov. 21 complaint by Boston-based conservative blogger Nadia Naffe alleged O’Keefe became verbally and relentlessly abusive to her after she told him she was backing out of his next “undercover” film project, in downtown Manhattan during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

O’Keefe, 27, appearing before Judge Alan Karch in a white shirt, green pants and a black sports coat, did not speak during the probable cause hearing.

Naffe, represented by lawyer John Weichsel in her Nov. 21 complaint, told Karch O’Keefe picked her up from the train station in Newark on Oct. 2. The two drove to O’Keefe’s home, where he lives with his parents, picking up alcohol along the way.

While at his house, Naffe said, she became involved in a dispute with O’Keefe and told him she no longer wanted to be involved in the film and wanted to be dropped off at the nearest train station.

She told the court O’Keefe initially refused to bring her to a train station and insisted she stay overnight in a barn at his parent’s property. Naffe said she threatened to call the police.

She testified that at one point in the evening, “I found it hard to move and control my muscles.”

“It was his intent to persuade me to spend the night in the barn,” Naffe said.

Naffe said O’Keefe and a friend eventually drove her to Pennsylvania Station in New York. She said O’Keefe and his friend had to support her into the car and she passed out during the ride, awakening at the train station.

She said she took a train to Boston, where she later found luggage items had been stolen, including underpants and a wireless mouse.


Naffe said not long after, she declined a money offer from O’Keefe. She said she didn’t know why O’Keefe offered her the money, but that a pattern of harassment began days later.

Naffe said she got harassing messages from O’Keefe for weeks and other messages were relayed to her through mutual friends.

She said that on Nov. 17, O’Keefe posted a video about her on his website, calling her “filthy” and “dirty;” the video has since been removed, Naffe said.

 “He made me out to be a tramp,” she testified. “He used other people to torment me.”

Case dismissed

But Karch could not find evidence showing the harassment originated in Westwood and dismissed Naffe’s compliant, adding that she could still pursue a civil claim against O’Keefe.

Neither O’Keefe nor Naffe would discuss the allegations when leaving court Wednesday.

O’Keefe, a self-described investigative journalist, is currently on federal parole. He was arrested in early 2010 along with three others in New Orleans after they posed as a phone repair crew and infiltrated Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. O’Keefe was charged with a federal felony count of attempting to maliciously interfere with Landrieu’s telephone system.

The case was reduced to a misdemeanor count of entering a federal building under false pretenses. O’Keefe and the others pled guilty, claiming they had only intended “to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to Landrieu’s staff and capture the conversation on video, not to actually tamper with the phone system, or to commit any other felony.” O’Keefe was sentenced to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.

He had previously become a nationally controversial figure with hidden-camera videos purporting to show bias and wrongdoing at government-funded agencies. One set of videos led to the shuttering of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which offered services to low- and moderate-income families. After the videos, ACORN lost government funding, although multiple investigations cleared it of criminal wrongdoing in the incidents.


In late October 2010, O’Keefe posted videos called Teachers Unions Gone Wild. At the time, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and Governor Christie were battling publicly over pay, tenure, and benefits.

The tapes, made by O’Keefe recruits, purport to show union members cursing, discussing voter fraud and laughing about how hard it is to fire tenured teachers. Much of the footage was shot at a East Brunswick Hilton bar, during a union leadership conference in August.

Christie said of the video, “Nothing on it surprises me,” but NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer called O’Keefe’s videos a “complete fabrication” and “a calculated attack on [the NJEA] organization and its members.”