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Asked for Oral Sex': Rev. Jackson Slapped With Gay Harassment Complaint


"Allegation that the civil rights leader propositioned him."

Tommy R. Bennett, a former employee of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, has filed a discrimination and wrongful termination complaint against the reverend. Bennett, who is gay, was the National Director of Community Affairs at Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Jackson, 55, also serves on President Obama's LGBT Leadership Council.

The complaint, as NBC Chicago reports, "includes shocking allegations about Jackson's behavior toward the openly gay staffer including an allegation that the civil rights leader propositioned him."

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According to NBC Chicago:

Bennett, 55, claims Jackson ridiculed him in front of other employees and required him to perform "humiliating tasks" like escorting women to Jackson's various hotel rooms, cleaning up after alleged trysts and packing his clothing.  It also includes an allegation that Jackson asked for oral sex, according to the claim. Jackson flatly denied each claim in his response.

The Windy City Times has more on the allegations:

Things reached an apex later in 2008, when Bennett says he "was summoned to Rev. Jackson's hotel room" at the Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport Hotel. Bennett claims that he was eventually instructed to apply cream to Jackson, who "had a rash between his legs." Bennett says that he refused, resulting in Jackson allegedly calling Bennett a "little motherfucker."

Bennett then states that another time at the same hotel, Jackson summoned him at 1 a.m. to take notes. The complaint states, "When Mr. Bennett arrived, Rev. Jackson was dressed only in his briefs and a v-neck t-shirt." Bennett alleges Jackson was sexually excited. Asked by Windy City Times how he came to this conclusion, Bennett said, "I could tell by his look. His whole demeanor had changed. His breathing pattern had changed."

Bennett's complaint requests compensation for punitive damages and emotional distress amounting to around $450,000. He also requests "back and front pay," according to reports.

Jackson has denied the allegations.

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