Daniel Inouye, the late U.S. senator from Hawaii, allegedly was the male colleague of fellow Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York who held Gillibrand’s waist and told her, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby,” the New York Times reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.
In her new memoir, “Off The Sidelines,” Gillibrand this month referenced several inappropriate comments about her weight and appearance made by her Congressional colleagues, whom she refused to identify.
While Inouye allegedly told Gillibrand that he liked his “girls chubby,” Gillibrand wrote that an unidentified Southern congressman told her, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.” Another senator called her “porky” after Gillibrand had her second baby.
The Times on Monday cited “people with knowledge of the incident” who identified only Inouye.
Representatives for Gillibrand declined to name Inouye. In her book, Gillibrand referred to Inouye as “one of my favorite older members of the Senate.
The Times report prompted several media outlets on Monday to resurrect the claims by Inouye’s longtime hairstylist, Lenore Kwock, that Inouye had pressured her into sex in 1975 and later sexually harassed her. The allegations surfaced during Inouye’s 1992 re-election campaign. Inouye denied the claims and won re-election with 54 percent of the vote, the lowest victory margin of his career.
Inouye served in the Senate for 50 years and received the Medal of Honor for his service in Europe during World War II. He died on Dec. 17, 2012, of a respiratory illness.