Responding to what some senators call the most serious complaint against him, Sen. Bob Packwood took "strong exception" Friday to the account of a woman who is accusing him of sexual misconduct toward her when she was 17.
Packwood, R-Ore., said that "for the moment, at least," he'll only tell the Senate Ethics Committee his version of what happened with his former summer intern in 1983.The panel's staff recently interviewed the accuser in closed session and must offer Packwood a chance to respond privately.
Packwood said in a written statement that he was given the deposition Thursday. "I take strong exception to her version of the event," he commented.
Packwood, who has been under investigation by the committee for more than 21/2 years, identified the woman in his statement after she had been named in the media earlier Friday. That angered Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who has un-suc-cessfully tried to force public hearings in the case.
"First, Senator Packwood improperly releases her name and then publicly comments on her claims," she said. "Senator Packwood's comments can only be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate her and any other potential victims who may come forward."
The woman's lawyer, W. Neil Eggleston, said it was "outrageous that he would deny her allegations" and that Packwood identified the woman in his statement.