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Rep. John Conyers hospitalized for a stress-related illness, spokesman says

Key Points
  • Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized for an undisclosed stress-related illness, a spokesperson told a local radio station Thursday morning.
  • The lawmaker faces an investigation from the House Ethics Committee into multiple accusations of sexual assault.
  • Conyers, 88, is facing accusations from three women who have accused the lawmaker of making inappropriate sexual advances.
Rep John Conyers (D-MI)
Paul J. Richards | AFP | Getty Images

Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized for an undisclosed stress-related illness amid an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations, a family spokesman said Thursday.

The latest pressure on Conyers came Thursday from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said he should resign.

Conyers, 88, was hospitalized at an undisclosed Detroit-area hospital, NBC affiliate WDIV reported.

"Monica Conyers, Mrs. Conyers, is by his side and we just ask, really the nation, to pray for this congressman that has done so much for the nation," spokesman Sam Riddle told Detroit radio station WWJ on Thursday.

It's not clear when he was hospitalized.

Conyers' attorney, Arnold E. Reed, confirmed in a tweet that the congressman was in a hospital and requested that the media to respect the family's privacy.

The Michigan Democrat, who has served in the House for 52 years, is facing a House Ethics Committee investigation of allegations from three women.

The first complaint came to light Nov. 20, when Buzzfeed reported that Conyers settled a complaint from a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000. She said she was fired because she would not "succumb" to his sexual advances.

Marion Brown, Conyers' former deputy chief of staff, said on NBC's "TODAY" on Thursday that she was the woman who reached the 2015 settlement with Conyers and that now she "felt compelled to stand up and speak out."

She also added details to what was previously known about her allegations.

Brown said that in 2005 the lawmaker invited her to his hotel room after he had undressed "down to his underwear."

"He pointed to areas, genital areas of his body, and asked me to touch it," Brown said.

Brown added that she reported the behavior to Conyers' chief of staff, but that she did not see any changes made following her report.

After Buzzfeed reported Brown's complaint, another former staffer, Deanna Maher, said the congressman had touched her inappropriately three times while she worked in the lawmaker's office.

A third woman, Melanie Sloan, an attorney who worked for Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview with ABC News that she once "walked into his office having been called up to brief him on something and he was walking around in his underwear." Sloan told The Washington Post she was not sexually harassed but believed his behavior was inappropriate and abusive.

Conyers' has repeatedly and vehemently denied the accusations. Conyers did not admit guilt as part of the monetary settlement with the former staffer. He has said he will cooperate with the congressional investigation.

Conyers is the longest-serving member of the House and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. After the allegations emerged, he stepped down as the top Democrat on the powerful the House Judiciary Committee.

In recent days the congressman has been facing pressure from fellow Democrats to resign from Congress. Asked about whether the lawmaker would resign, Conyers' attorney told Reuters: "No."

The revelations came amid discussions in Congress about reforming the internal system for reporting and handling accusations of misconduct by lawmakers.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, introduced legislation Nov. 15 that would reform the complaint review process.