NAACP president added to NC woman's lawsuit against organization
Posted September 23, 2020 7:22 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2020 12:21 a.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — A North Carolina woman seeking millions of dollars from the NAACP and her former boss over alleged harassment is taking her lawsuit a step further.
In September 2019, Jazmyne Childs said her former boss sexually harassed her during her time with the North Carolina NAACP.
On Wednesday, a judge approved her lawyer's request to add the president of the national NAACP to the lawsuit, claiming Derrick Johnson made false statements about Childs.
In Durham County court, attorneys for Childs said Johnson slandered her name during a statewide convention in Winston-Salem.
"In front of a large crowd of people, he accused the plaintiff, Jazymyne Childs, of 'lacking integrity and character,'" attorney Harvey Kennedy said.
Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson approved their request to add Johnson to the lawsuit, but lawyers for the NAACP disagreed with the decision.
"Our argument here is the supposed amendment will be futile because it fails to state a claim," said Robert Harrington, the lawyer for the NAACP.
Childs has alleged that her former boss, Rev. Curtis Gatewood, sexually harassed her when she worked at the state NAACP office in Durham.
Gatewood denied the claims and called it an effort to smear his name. He also appeared in court on Wednesday and revealed his attorney would no longer be representing him.
"Character assassination, on one hand, makes it difficult to generate funds which you would normally generate when you're facing false narratives through the media," described Gatewood.
With Johnson added to the lawsuit, Childs is now seeking over $20 million for emotional and mental distress.