White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has detailed an alleged assault against her that she says occurred last year in the presence of her daughter. Her account was broadcast in a CNN interview Friday.
Mary Elizabeth Inabinett — 63, of Chevy Chase, Maryland — faces misdemeanor charges in the alleged October assault, according to court records. She was charged in November.
The alleged assault occurred as Conway was attending a birthday party on Oct. 14 at a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, Conway told police. The incident started when Conway thought someone was trying to tell her goodbye as she left the party, The Washington Post reports.
“She was just unhinged. She was out of control,” Conway told CNN of the alleged assault. “Her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. And she ought to pay for that. She ought to pay for that because she has no right to touch anybody.”
Conway told the network that her middle school-aged daughter witnessed the incident.
Conway’s account is disputed by Inabinett’s attorney, William Alden McDaniel, Jr. In a statement, he described his client’s actions as a First Amendment expression of “personal opinions.”
“Ms. Inabinett saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions,” McDaniel said in a statement quoted by CNN. “She did not assault Ms. Conway. The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false.”
Inabinett will plead not guilty to the charges, he said.
“Her ‘First Amendment’ right to scream like a lunatic does not include touching me or anyone else,” Conway told The Associated Press in an email.
A court document shows that Conway reported a woman allegedly grabbed her shoulders from behind and shook her. The woman also allegedly yelled, “Shame on you,” and other comments suspected to be about Conway’s political stances the document says.
The woman who confronted Conway was forcibly removed from the premises before authorities arrived, a restaurant manager told police. The alleged confrontation lasted 8 to 10 minutes, Conway told police.
The alleged incident took place soon after Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in following a contentious hearing process including allegations of sexual assault. Kavanaugh and the Trump administration were the target of criticism and protests from women’s groups during the process.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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