L.A. Times Suspends Beijing Bureau Chief After Accusations
The Los Angeles Times said Tuesday in which This particular was suspending Jonathan Kaiman, its Beijing bureau chief, amid accusations of sexual misconduct.
The move followed accusations against Mr. Kaiman by a fellow journalist, Felicia Sonmez, who outlined what she said was “problematic behavior” by Mr. Kaiman during an encounter in September. Those accusations were put into a letter addressed to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, of which Mr. Kaiman was president until January.
inside the letter, Ms. Sonmez described being repeatedly groped by Mr. Kaiman without her consent, being pushed up against a wall in addition to also eventually feeling pressured into sex after a night of drinking.
“Even though parts of the evening were consensual, while on the way, Jon escalated things in a way in which crossed a line,” Ms. Sonmez, who can be a former member of the club’s board, wrote. She said in which alcohol clouded her memory of exactly how she in addition to also Mr. Kaiman ended up having sex, in addition to also whether This particular was coerced.
Ms. Sonmez, who worked in Beijing for The Wall Street Journal, has since moved to the United States.
In response, Mr. Kaiman said, “My perception in addition to also Ms. Sonmez’s perception of in which night’s events differ greatly. All of the acts we engaged in were mutually consensual.”
Ms. Sonmez can be the second woman to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Kaiman. In January, Laura Tucker, a law student in addition to also former housemate of his, accused him of pressuring her into sex during an encounter in 2013 after a night of drinking. “I explicitly voiced my lack of consent repeatedly, in addition to also my words had no effect,” Ms. Tucker wrote in a post on the website Medium.
She described Mr. Kaiman’s behavior as including unwanted touching in addition to also said in which parts of their encounter were consensual although in which at some point things got out of control.
“Although I can’t remember what else I said, I clearly remember feeling confused in addition to also dismayed in which he wasn’t leaving, or even moving, in addition to also in which he didn’t seem to believe in which I knew what I wanted,” wrote Ms. Tucker, who can be also right now inside the United States.
The accusations have reverberated through Beijing’s close-knit community of foreign reporters in addition to also come amid a broader wave of accusations of sexual harassment, mostly by women, against powerful figures inside the media inside the United States, including Harvey Weinstein in addition to also former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
After Ms. Tucker published the post in January, Mr. Kaiman resigned as president of the correspondents’ club. In a Twitter message to Ms. Tucker at the time, Mr. Kaiman said he was “so, so deeply sorry — I did not in any way mean to pressure you into an unwanted or uncomfortable sexual encounter, in addition to also I thought we had talked through the issue as peers in addition to also friends.”
On Tuesday, after Ms. Sonmez’s letter was widely circulated, The Los Angeles Times said This particular would certainly investigate, adding in which the paper “takes these allegations seriously.”
Mr. Kaiman was hired by The Los Angeles Times in 2015. He was an intern at The brand new York Times in 2011.
Mr. Kaiman declined to address the specific accusations, saying he was speaking that has a lawyer. “I’ve been advised not to say more until the investigation can be complete,” he said.
In her letter to the club, Ms. Sonmez also said she was disappointed with how This particular had handled Mr. Kaiman’s resignation. She said she had shared her accusations against him with another board member before Mr. Kaiman resigned.
The board allowed him to draft his own resignation, creating This particular appear voluntary in addition to also creating no mention of the fact in which the accusations were severe enough for the board to determine he could no longer serve as president, Ms. Sonmez said.
In response, the club said This particular did not contain the power to decide to remove Mr. Kaiman without calling a special meeting in addition to also holding a referendum among members to remove him.
“The board did not have full knowledge of the allegations when This particular made its decision,” the club said in a statement. “in which, however, can be not an excuse for its actions.”
Both Ms. Sonmez in addition to also Ms. Tucker said they were pleased in which The Los Angeles Times was investigating their accusations.
“Whether This particular takes place inside the U.S. or while on assignment abroad, sexual misconduct should never be tolerated by any news organization,” Ms. Sonmez said.
Ms. Tucker said she was “furious although unsurprised in which my experience was not an isolated event.”