Republican Who Voted to Kick Out Tennessee 3 Accused of Sexually Harassing a Teen Intern

The student reportedly said in the email that Campbell made repeated sexual comments and “grabbed me around my neck.”

A top GOP lawmaker who supported expelling Tennessee Democrats for a gun protest has now resigned after he was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting a teenage intern.

Rep. Scotty Campbell was the vice chair of the House Republican caucus until Thursday, when News Channel 5 in Nashville published an explosive report that an ethics committee had found that Campbell violated the chamber’s policy against workplace discrimination and harassment. 


Campbell at first attempted to deny the claims, but after the accusations came to light—and Campbell seemingly inadvertently revealed to the outlet that he’d been accused of harassment by a second intern—the Republican resigned from his seat. 

Though the subcommittee found him guilty, rules of the Tennessee General Assembly allowed for no reprimand aside from placing the memo in Campbell’s personnel file, according to News Channel 5.

Campbell vocally supported the effort to expel three Democratic legislators earlier this month for bringing “disorder and dishonor” to the House, after they protested for gun reform following the Covenant School shooting. Two young Black lawmakers, Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, were expelled; a white representative from Knoxville, Gloria Johnson, was not. 

After Jones and Pearson were expelled—they’ve since been re-appointed to the seats by local governments in Nashville and Memphis, respectively. Campbell told a local TV station in northeast Tennessee: “This was not a race issue, this was a behavior issue.” 


The ethics committee memo finding Campbell guilty of harassment was dated March 29, one day before the Tennessee Three’s protest. 

The intern, who was unnamed in News Channel Five’s story, reportedly told a family member in an email that after Campbell saw her and a teenage intern entering her nearby apartment, he later “made comments about how ... he was in his apartment imagining that we were performing sexual acts on one another and how it drove him crazy knowing that was happening so close to him,” the email said, according to News Channel 5. 

“I uncomfortably explained that that was not happening, and he insisted that he knew it was and asked me to tell him about it,” the intern said in the email, the outlet reported.

The student also reportedly said in the email that when she went to Campbell’s apartment to return a wrench, he made repeated sexual comments and advances toward her and eventually “grabbed me around my neck,” after which she left and blocked his number. 

The state also reportedly spent money to relocate the intern away from the building where Campbell also had an apartment and housing her in a Nashville hotel until her internship ended. Legislatives officials cited confidentiality, however, and refused to say just how many taxpayer dollars were spent, according to News Channel 5. 

The last Tennessee lawmaker to be expelled before Pearson and Jones was Republican Jeremy Durham in 2016, for sexual misconduct.


Campbell made national headlines earlier this year when he asked, during a hearing on a bill making drag shows, if a “bra-and-panties” wrestling match would be banned under the bill. He ultimately voted for the bill. 

In Texas, a far-right who’s led a similar effort and called drag shows “groomer events” was accused by a Republican legislative staffer of having an “inappropriate relationship” with an intern in an internal complaint, according to the Texas Tribune. Rep. Bryan Slaton allegedly invited the underage intern over to drink; later, a full version of the complaint alleged that he’d had “sexual relations” with the intern. 

Slaton’s attorney said in an email to the Texas Tribune, which first reported the complaint, that he was aware of “outrageous claims circulating online by second-tier media that make false claims against Representative Slaton.” 

No disciplinary action has been taken against Slaton thus far, but on Wednesday, the House passed an amendment that would make a felony for a “public officer” to give an underage person alcohol. Slaton voted for the legislation.