I forwarded him my spreadsheet, with the obvious caveat not to share it further. Then, just as Drucker started looking into each allegation, Trump nominated Kurson to the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Because of course this happened.
Drucker’s story, “The Trump Administration Considers an Old Friend: Ken Kurson,” appeared on May 11. “Concerning Ms. Copaken’s account, Mr. Kurson said, ‘I categorically deny any claim of inappropriate behavior.’”
In response to his denial, I posted a Twitter thread presenting some of the written evidence, email by creepy email.
At the end of the thread, I wrote the following: “Many more women and two men have contacted me about similar fuckery. So FBI, if you’re vetting, call me. I know things.” I didn’t even @ them. I was in a blind rage, never expecting the FBI to actually respond.
But soon after, FBI Special Agent Mateo Gomez called. He arrived at my front door on June 4 with his partner, Special Agent Emily Eckstut, who was young and kind-faced and wearing comfortable flats. Somehow, it was her shoes that won me over, but not before I made both agents show me their badges at the door.
Read: The 19 women who accused President Trump of sexual misconduct
“I figured I’d bring a woman along, since I know this stuff is hard to talk about with men,” Gomez said. I thought, Good on you, FBI! That is correct. I definitely do feel better talking about sexual harassment with a female special agent. Although I’d feel much better if you hadn’t had to come at all. Or if sexual harassment were considered a punishable crime with real consequences instead of a nuisance women have had to put up with since the dawn of the human penis.
The FBI agents listened, went back to their desks with my spreadsheet, and contacted the people listed on it. Soon after, Kurson withdrew from consideration for the post, blaming the amount of paperwork involved in the vetting process.
When Kurson was finally arrested and charged with cyberstalking two years later, I felt a profound sense of relief. Finally, I thought, a sexual harasser would be brought to justice because he broke other laws that our legal system considers punishable.
Thanks to Trump, that relief didn’t last.
“What do I do?” I asked Special Agent Eckstut, of the comfortable shoes. Two other agents were listening in on the line. “I gave you guys the information that led to his arrest!” I said. “He’s not going to look kindly upon that or me.”
“If there’s an imminent threat to your safety,” Eckstut said, “call 911. If it’s less imminent, let us know, and we’ll certainly look into it.”
I asked about getting a restraining order, but restraining orders, I was told, are only for people with whom you’ve been intimate or for people who have already been charged with committing a violent crime against you. Because I turned down my harasser, and because verbal sexual harassment is not a crime, I can’t get one. (Hello? Can we fix this too?) Plus, Eckstut told me, restraining orders are not the FBI’s purview anyway.