Anti-LGBTQ+ congressman Madison Cawthorn addresses leaked video of him nude with another man
North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn has said he was “trying to be funny” in a leaked video which appears to show him naked in bed with another man.
The video, which has been shared widely on social media, shows a man who appears to be Cawthorn thrusting himself at another man’s face while nude.
Cawthorn, 26, immediately faced resounding criticism, with some labelling him a “hypocrite” for engaging in what appears to be a simulated sex act with another man while he simultaneously speaks out against LGBTQ+ rights.
Writing on Twitter shortly after the video leaked, Cawthorn said: “A new hit against me just dropped.”
He continued: “Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it. I’m NOT backing down.
“I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”
Madison Cawthorn has found himself at the centre of a number of scandals
The leaked video is just the latest in a string of embarrassing leaks and scandals for Cawthorn.
In recent weeks, Politico has released images which appear to show Cawthorn wearing lingerie in what looks to be a party setting. Later, the Daily Mail leaked a video which shows Cawthorn sitting in a car as a member of his staff, Stephen L Smith, reaches out to grab his crotch.
However, leaked videos and photos are the least of Cawthorn’s worries. In April, he was briefly detained at an airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, after he tried to board a flight with a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage.
He is also due in court in May after he was found to be driving on a revoked licence. He had two pending speeding tickets at the time.
Cawthorn addressed some of the news reports that have come out about him in recent weeks in a seven minute long video posted to Twitter on Wednesday (5 May).
“I’m sure that many of you have seen some outlandish stuff the media has been putting out about me over the last few weeks,” Cawthorn said in the video.
He claimed that many of the stories were part of a “coordinated attack” on him in the lead up to his re-election bid on 17 May.
However, he acknowledged that supporters might have “questions that are reasonable” about his conduct.
The media thinks that playing a goofy game on a cruise ship with my friends and family means that I can’t serve in Congress.
Cawthorn went on to address the Politico article showing pictures of him dressed in lingerie.
“This article is pushing a ludicrous narrative that I’m some kind of drag queen on the side aside from being a congressman,” he said, before claiming that Politico doesn’t have the same journalistic standards as Fox News or Newsmax.
He said the pictures of him wearing lingerie were taken before he was in Congress, adding: “Ask yourself this, have you ever taken a dumb photo on vacation? Most people have. The media thinks that playing a goofy game on a cruise ship with my friends and family means that I can’t serve in Congress. That is garbage. My mother was literally in that crowd, and if you think I’d do something inappropriate in front of my mom, you clearly don’t know what a southern mom is like.”
Cawthorn also addressed the video released by The Daily Mail showing his staffer – who is also his cousin – grabbing Cawthorn’s crotch.
The congressman described the video as “just stupid locker room talk between two cousins that grew up like brothers” and said it was “taken long before I served in Congress”.
Cawthorn has spoken out repeatedly against LGBTQ+ rights
The revelations have angered many within the queer community because Cawthorn has often used his platform to speak out against LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.
In his initial election campaign, Cawthorn promised to be “a strong voice for faith, family and freedom” – however, that freedom has never extended to LGBTQ+ people.
He once said that the LGBTQ+ rights movement was about “two people who wanted to be able to get married” and that it should have ended there.
“But now it’s saying that we need to be able to have gender reassignment surgery for 12-year-olds. They never stopped at a line. They always go further,” Cawthorn said on the Charlie Kirk Show in 2020.
Cawthorn has twice been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment. In 2020, some of his former college classmates at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, told Buzzfeed News that he had used his vehicle to “entrap and harass” women.
Those allegations came just one year after his campaign was almost derailed by similar misconduct claims.