Washington Post reporter sues paper for ‘emotional anguish’ after ban from covering sexual assault articles


On Thursday, Felicia Sonmez filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post and its top executives for barring her from reporting stories on sexual assault. The political breaking news reporter for the agency said that she was not allowed to write the stories as she was an alleged sexual assault survivor.


Her lawyer submitted documents to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia which claim that the ban on her covering stories on sexual assault by editors of The Post was enforced in 2018 after she released a statement detailing her own alleged sexual assault.


She said that she missed out on reporting important political stories on the #MeToo movement and allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Joe Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo as a result of unlawful discrimination.


Earlier this year, Sonmez called out The Post on its policy and the paper lifted its ban. She had criticized the paper both privately and publicly. However, her lawyers claim in the suit that the damage was done. The lawsuit suit also stated that she faced economic loss, humiliation and embarrassment.


The suit said that the ban caused her “mental and emotional distress.” The court filed document also said that she was deprived of her rights to “equal employment opportunities.” It also detailed her sufferings both physical and mental and the treatments she sought to overcome these sufferings.


In a statement to CNN Business Sonmez said that it was her belief that survivors of trauma, including that of sexual assault deserved total support from newsrooms and that they should not be afraid of punishment or silence. She also said that they should not be barred from doing their jobs because of what was done to them.


She has named the following as defendants


  • The Washington Post and Baron
  • Managing Editor Cameron Barr
  • Managing Editor Tracy Grant
  • National Editor Steven Ginsberg
  • Deputy National Editor Lori Montgomery
  • Senior Politics Editor Peter Wallsten


Somnez’s suit asks for compensatory as well as punitive damages. It also asks for a permanent injunction that would compel The Post and its editors to take affirmative steps that would “remedy” the “illegal, discriminatory and retaliatory conduct” that was detailed in the lawsuit.


Various news agencies including CNN Business and The Daily Mail contacted Baron who declined to answer and Washington Post spokespersons who have not as yet commented on the matter.

Author Daniel X. O’Neil

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