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Washington Post reporter sues paper, alleges temporary ban on her #MeToo reporting was damaging

The ban was lifted earlier this year, the lawsuit states, after Sonmez criticized the newspaper privately and in public over the policy.

Updated: July 23, 2021 - 10:22am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A Washington Post reporter has filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and former executive editor Marty Barron alleging unlawful discrimination after she publicly said she had been the victim of sexual assault.

The reporter, Felicia Sonmez, filed the suit Thursday. 

The newspaper had kept the national politics reporter from writing stories about the #MeToo movement – including ones about sexual assault allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process – because she had been outspoken about being a sexual assault survivor.

The ban was lifted earlier this year, the lawsuit states, after Sonmez criticized the newspaper privately and in public over the policy. It was instituted during the tenure of Baron, who retired in February, according to CNN

However, Sonmez’s suit alleges the ban hurt her professionally and personally, despite it being lifted. 

The suit alleged that she had suffered "economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, mental and emotional distress, and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment opportunities,” CNN also reports.

Spokespeople for The Post did not immediately have any comment. Baron declined comment, the news outlet said Thursday

The suit filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia also names as defendants managing editors Cameron Barr; and Tracy Grant; national editor Steven Ginsberg; deputy national editor Lori Montgomery; and senior politics editor Peter Wallsten. 

The man who Sonmez says assaulted her has denied the allegations and said the encounter was consensual, CNN also reports.

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