An Ohio Supreme Court judge, who is running as a Democratic candidate for state governor, is in the eye of storm for candidly going into the details of his sexual past while underplaying the “media frenzy” over sexual misconduct.
In a Facebook post, Justice William O’Neill’ bragged about being “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,” while speaking “on behalf of heterosexual males”.
“In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,” O’Neill, a Democrat, wrote. “It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland.
“Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis,” he said, while adding that he was disappointed in “this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago”.
He later told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper the number “50” could be incorrect since he “doesn’t keep count”.
The Facebook post has triggered an avalanche of responses on social media with many deriding the judge for his controversial remark.
“I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O’Neill’s Facebook post,” Ohio Supreme Court’s chief justice Maureen O’Connor said in a statement to The Washington Post. “This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”
O’Neill’s own political party also condemned the remarks. Ohio Democratic Party chairman David Pepper said his comments “do nothing but trivialize this important conversation, which is actually about harassment and abuse, not encounters between consenting adults.”
His Republican rival in the gubernatorial race, Mary Taylor, also criticised the comments as “ill-timed and dismissive at best.”