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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spoke exclusively to KING 5 Monday in his first one-on-one interview to defend himself against the recent allegations he sexually molested a teenager in the 1980s.
The now adult male identified in court documents only as D.H., is the third person to come forward in recent years and accuse the mayor of sexual misconduct.
D.H., a 46-year-old Kent man, is the only person currently seeking legal action.
The political scandal has some calling for Murray's resignation as he faces a re-election bid this year.
Murray was emphatic that he would not be stepping down as mayor and would continue to seek re-election. Murray also said he would not settle the lawsuit.
"I will not be extorted. I will not pay for something I didn't do," Murray said alongside his husband Michael Shiosaki. "I will fight this. We are willing to lose everything we have, and we don't have much, but we're willing to lose everything we have before we give up this fight. You don't leave life with much except your reputation, and since I don't really have any assets, the thing that's most to me is my reputation."
Murray described the allegations he is facing as the most humiliating thing he has experienced in his professional life.
"It's painful. I feel for Michael. I feel for my sisters, nephews, and nieces who have been so supportive. It's not who I am," Murray said. "My only hope is that since people have known me as a public figure for three decades, they'll take that into consideration."
During the interview, Murray stated that he is not a child molester and has never had sexual relations as an adult with someone under 18.
Murray added that he does not know the identity of D.H., the person who filed a civil lawsuit against Murray April 6 in King County Superior Court.
That lawsuit alleges, "Murray repeatedly and criminally raped and molested DH when he was legally unable to consent."
D.H. alleged he met Murray when he was 15 years old on a Metro bus, and Murray, who was about 32 years old at the time, propositioned D.H. to visit his Capitol Hill apartment for sex. The encounters continued for “an extended period,” according to court documents.
“Addicted to drugs at the time, D.H. was willing to do whatever Mr. Murray asked for as little as $10-20,” the lawsuit claimed.
Murray said he worked at a center for troubled kids in college, where he was assigned to work with another of his accusers, Jeff Simpson. The court asked Murray to be Simpson's foster parent.
"The court asked that he be placed with me. I was very young. It was a mistake, but I did it. I saw a lot of potential in Jeff. He was a charming good guy with some significant problems," Murray said. "Every time he ran away I called the police. Those would have been opportunities to report abuse. I needed to return him to the foster care system. It's my understanding he got very angry, because I sent him back to the system."
The mayor added that he believes the allegations are politically motivated. He says he doesn't know if it's a conspiracy, but the timing is suspicious.
"All I can tell you is it's very peculiar that it happens when I'm trying to move a significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender bill on civil rights, when I'm trying to move domestic partnership for gay and lesbian couples, when I'm trying to pursue marriage, when I'm suing the president of the U.S. over immigration, and I'm running for re-election," Murray said. "It doesn't happen in those other years. Is it a conspiracy? I have no idea. Other people are going to have to investigate and figure it out."