A longtime Republican campaign aide who accused American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp of sexual battery came forward publicly on Wednesday after a judge ruled he couldn’t pursue his claims anonymously.
Carlton Huffman gave an interview to The Washington Post and said he plans to amend his lawsuit to include his name once the judge enters the order.
Schlapp has vehemently denied Huffman’s claims.
“I’m not backing away,” Huffman told the Post. “I’m not going to drop this. Matt Schlapp did what he did and he needs to be held accountable.”
Huffman’s lawsuit alleges Schlapp was “aggressively fondling” his groin while the two drove back from a restaurant to a hotel on Oct. 19 after attending an event to support Herschel Walker’s Republican Senate campaign in Georgia.
The complaint accuses Schlapp of battery and goes on to allege that he and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, defamed Huffman after news reports about his allegations surfaced.
When the suit was first filed, an attorney for the Schlapps criticized the request for anonymity and said it demonstrated that the accuser’s agenda was to harm the Schlapp family.
“The plaintiff has not established I think the heavy burden of establishing both a concrete need for secrecy and identifying the consequences that would likely befall him if forced to proceed in his own name,” said Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Lisa Bondareff Kemler, according to the Post.
The Hill has reached out to attorneys for the Schlapps and Huffman for comment.
In his interview with the Post, Huffman acknowledged years-old racist writings on a WordPress blog, which included glorifications of the Confederate flag and posts criticizing diversity and non-European heritage.
Huffman left a job as a policy adviser in the North Carolina House Speaker’s office in January after one month, according to his LinkedIn, after the blog resurfaced.
“That was an ugly chapter of my life that I am personally ashamed of,” Huffman told the Post. “That is not who I am anymore.”
The development comes days after the conclusion of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Schlapp’s organization’s flagship annual event.