Updated: 3:20 PM PDT, April 05, 2021
Allegations of inappropriate behavior against Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz keep accumulating. Now, a Florida state lawmaker is speaking out about a voicemail she says she received from Gaetz and former county tax collector Joel Greenberg in 2019.
Anna Eskamani, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, says Gaetz and Greenberg called her out of the blue.
“We were just chatting about you and talking about your lovely qualities,” Greenberg says in the voicemail. “If you get this and you feel like chatting, give me a shout back.”
Greenberg is in federal custody awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
“It felt like college kids picking on a girl trying to get her to give them attention,” Eskamani said of the voicemail. “The tone of the message just felt really uncomfortable — referring to my lovely qualities. It was just way too flirtatious and way too awkward for me to want to call back.”
In 2013, when he was a Florida state lawmaker, Gaetz reportedly invented a point system for having sex with women in the legislature, with different values assigned to lobbyists, staff members and legislators.
“Gaetz was the ringleader, and they would give points to the women you slept with, based on their different identities,” Eskamani said.
The most seemingly unattainable woman, who was reportedly assigned a value of 150 points, was referred to as the “snitch,” in reference to the Harry Potter series.
Gaetz denies any wrongdoing, writing in the Washington Examiner, “I have never, ever paid for sex. And… as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.”
A former Gaetz staff member held a press conference Monday to defend Gaetz. Nathan Nelson says he was just interviewed by the FBI.
“The allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated and merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative,” Nelson said.
The growing scandal was spoofed on “SNL” over the weekend, with Gaetz played by Pete Davidson.