A ‘bunny wabbit,’ not a ‘cutie pie’ Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky gives his first big interview since allegations that he sexually harassed multiple journalists
Sergey Bobylev / TASS / Scanpix / LETA
What follows is a paraphrased retelling of Leonid Slutsky’s June 13 interview with the website Snob. Multiple journalists have accused Slutsky, who chairs the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, of sexually harassing them over the years when they approached him for comments. A Duma ethics commission recently exonerated Slutsky from misconduct charges, leading several media outlets to withdraw their parliamentary correspondents in protest.
I didn’t molest anybody, and I never used the words “cutie pie.” Okay, maybe I called one of them a “bunny wabbit.” I never grabbed anyone by the crotch. What a gift to the anti-Kremlin TV network Dozhd it would have been for a political enemy like me to have grabbed one of their girls by the buns! And isn’t it weird how they only started making noise about it three years later? Farida Rustamova’s audio tape was mixed together from different recordings.
These girls are the victims of a staged conspiracy, and the person behind it all is someone in Russia, but I’m not going to name them. I know a woman who was offered half a million dollars to sign a document claiming that I’d raped her. I’ve sent screenshots of this proposition to the authorities. In the U.S., these allegations have become a way to destroy careers, and now they’ve decided to try this out here in Russia. By the way, everybody is sick of this in America now, too; they’re comparing it to the Great Terror.
This idiocy is as contagious as a virus, but I’ve become the inoculation. This is the trend nowadays: throwing around baseless allegations. They say you killed someone, attacked someone, poisoned the Skripals, interfered in the U.S. elections, grabbed somebody’s crotch, and so on. Nobody’s interested in all my accomplishments and good deeds. The scandal has also affected my family. At my daughter’s school, a boy in her class called her a faggot. She beat him up.
And now Navalny has taken an interest in me, as this scandal unfolds. There have been some unpaid traffic tickets — I admit it — but I haven’t broken any laws when it comes to real estate. I don’t like luxury, and I spent my money on churches. I have a lot of diplomatic successes. At the height of the scandal, I got something like 400 messages from politicians in Western Europe and the U.S. — everyone supported me. This whole thing won’t have any effect on my career.
Finally, I apologize once again. If you’re a strong person, you shouldn’t be afraid of apologizing for something you didn’t do.