Metro Weekly

Matt Schlapp Made Other Sexual Advances Toward Men, Lawsuit Alleges

The man accusing Matt Schlapp of sexual misconduct says CPAC officials knew of allegations by two other men, but took no action.

Matt Schlapp – Photo: Gage Skidmore

A recently amended lawsuit claims that officials overseeing the Conservative Political Action Conference knew about past allegations of sexual misconduct against American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp, but failed to investigate them or remove Schlapp from his post.

The lawsuit was filed in Alexandria Circuit Court by Carlton Huffman, 39, a Raleigh-based Republican strategist who had worked as a staffer on Herschel Walker’s failed 2022 U.S. Senate campaign in Georgia.

Huffman has alleged that Schlapp — who had traveled to the Atlanta area for a rally in support of Walker, and for whom Huffman was serving as a temporary chauffeur — repeatedly intruded into his personal space while the two were out at bars, fondled his crotch while Huffman was driving Schlapp back to his hotel, and invited him up to his room — an invitation that Huffman refused.

Huffman’s amended lawsuit seeks $13.1 million — $3.7 million more than the amount in damages he had initially sought — for alleged sexual battery and defamation. Matt Schlapp, his wife, Mercedes, and the ACU are named as defendants.

In the amended complaint, Huffman alleges that ACU officials had been aware of two previous reports of alleged sexual misconduct by Schlapp.

In one alleged incident, during a fundraising trip to South Florida in 2022, Schlapp was accused of stripping down to his underwear and rubbing against another person without his consent. In the other, which occurred in 2017, Schlapp allegedly attempted to kiss an employee against his wishes, according to the complaint.

“ACU previously was notified and aware of Matthew Schlapp’s propensity for unlawful sexual assault and battery, including at least two prior incidents of similar conduct,” the lawsuit reads. “ACU was negligent in its continued employment of Matthew Schlapp in a prominent leadership role.”

The alleged victims are not identified and are not parties to the suit, but Huffman’s filing says their allegations were obtained through the discovery process.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Schlapp, has disputed the claims and sought to cast doubt on Huffman’s credibility. 

“These demonstrably false allegations are a continuation of transparent and desperate tactics,” Corallo said in a statement to the Post, adding that Huffman is trying “to bolster his spurious claims and taint potential jurors.”

Huffman had originally sought to remain anonymous out of fear of “an undue risk of retaliatory physical or mental harm.” But several right-wing activists later released his name publicly, seeking to undermine his credibility and defend Schlapp, according to The Washington Post.

In a statement posted on the website of the ACU, CPAC’s parent organization, two ACU members even alleged that Huffman, who has worked in Republican politics for many years, was part of a plot by liberals “to scorch the earth in their quest to cancel those with whom they disagree.”

To the delight of Schlapp defenders, Huffman’s reputation suffered a major blow after an anonymous email account exposed past writings in which he allegedly glorified the Confederate flag, blamed Black people and illegal immigrants for violent crime, and called for “preserving the European American culture of the United States,” according to the Post.

Immediately after those writings came to light in January, Huffman resigned from his job with the North Carolina General Assembly. 

Additionally, in March, two women publicly accused Huffman of sexual assault, as CNN reported at the time. The women claim Huffman performed sexual acts on them without their consent after a night of drinking and claimed to have been intimidated by the knowledge that Huffman had a gun in the house. Huffman, for his part, claims the acts were consensual. 

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