Editor's note: this piece contains graphic language
The allegation that Al Gore sexually assaulted a woman in a Portland, Ore., hotel room nearly four years ago has dealt a serious blow to the former vice president's story that he and wife Tipper simply "grew apart" after 40 years of marriage.
The police report of the masseuse's complaint is 73 pages long and extremely detailed. According to the document, she got a call from the front desk of the trendy Hotel Lucia on the night of Oct. 24, 2006. The hotel had a special guest. Could she come at 10:30 p.m.?
She went to Gore's room carrying a folding massage table and other equipment. Gore, whom she had never met, greeted her with a warm embrace. "The hug went on a bit long, and I was taken just a bit aback by it," the masseuse told police. But she went along because Gore "was a VIP and a powerful individual, and the Hotel Lucia had made it clear to me by inference that they were giving him 'the royal treatment.'"
Gore said he was tired from travel and described in detail the massage he wanted. It included work on the adductor muscles, which are on the inside of the thighs. "I mentally noted that a request for adductor work is a bit unusual," the masseuse told police, because it can be "a precursor to inappropriate behavior by a male client."
Gore also requested work on his abdomen. When that began, "he became somewhat vocal with muffled moans, etc.," the masseuse recounted. Gore then "demand(ed) that I go lower." When she remained focused on a "safe, nonsexual" area, Gore grew "angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud."
The masseuse asked Gore what he wanted. "He grabbed my right hand, shoved it down under the sheet to his pubic-hair area, my fingers brushing against his penis," she recalled, "and said to me, 'There!' in a very sharp, loud, angry-sounding tone." When she pulled back, Gore "angrily raged" and "bellowed" at her.
Then, abruptly, the former vice president changed tone. It was "as though he had very suddenly switched personalities," she recalled, "and began in a pleading tone, pleading for release of his second chakra there."
"Chakra," in Gore's new-agey jargon, refers to the body's "energy centers," which the masseuse interpreted as having a specific meaning. "This was yet another euphemism for sexual activity he was requesting," she told police, "put cleverly as though it were a spiritual request or something."
She wanted to end the session, but Gore "wrapped me in an inescapable embrace" and "caressed my back and buttocks and breasts." She tried to get away -- in the process calling Gore a "crazed sex poodle" -- but the former vice president was too strong for her.
A little later, she said, Gore produced a bottle of brandy and mentioned there were condoms in the "treat box" provided by the hotel. "He then forced an open-mouth kiss on me," she said.
At that moment, the masseuse brought up Gore's long marriage. "How do you rectify this with your wife?" she asked. That brought on another "quick shift" in Gore's mood. "I never saw anybody's moods just go like this," the masseuse told police, snapping her fingers.
The accuser said Gore maneuvered her into the bedroom. His iPod docking station was there, he told her, and he wanted her to listen to "Dear Mr. President," a lachrymose attack on George W. Bush by the singer Pink.
"As soon as he had it playing, he turned to me and immediately flipped me flat on my back and threw his whole body face down over atop of me," she said. "I was just shocked at his craziness."
"He pleaded, grabbed me, engulfed me in embrace, tongue-kissed me, massaged me, groped my breasts and painfully squeezed my nipples through my clothing, pressed his pelvis against mine, rubbed my buttocks with his hands and fingers and rubbed himself against my crotch, saying, 'You know you want to do it.'"
Finally, she got away. Later, she talked to friends, liberals like herself, who advised against telling police. One asked her "to just suck it up; otherwise, the world's going to be destroyed from global warming."
She got a lawyer and made an appointment to talk with authorities. She canceled and did not tell police until January 2009 and even then did not press charges. Police closed the case without further investigation.
Now, after the 2009 police report surfaced in the National Enquirer, police have reopened the case. Through a spokeswoman, Gore "unequivocally and emphatically" denies the allegation. But his family-man image will never be the same.