From Iceland — Former Government Minister Charged With Sexual Harassment

Former Government Minister Charged With Sexual Harassment

Published September 8, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Estonian Foreign Ministry/Wikimedia Commons

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, a former Foreign Minister, social democrat MP and ambassador, has finally been charged with sexual harassment. We say “finally” because he has, over the course of his career, been accused of sexual misconduct on multiple occasions.

Telling on yourself

Perhaps in an attempt to get ahead of the story, Jón Baldvin himself broke the news in an article he sent to Morgunblaðið.

Therein, he says that he has been accused of “stroking the behind of the plaintiff, up and down, over the clothes”. He contends that this is all a part of a plot against him, with the purpose of ruining his reputation.

If that’s the case, this conspiracy is certainly broad and well-orchestrated.

Not for the first time

Last year, four women came forward to Stundin, detailing incidences that go as far back as the 1960s, with the most recent incident alleged to have taken place in 2018. Two of his accusers were around 13 and 14 years old at the time.

Not even that was the first time sexual harassment accusations were levied against him. In 2012, the magazine Nýtt Líf brought to light letters of strong sexual content that Jón Baldvin had written to Guðrún Harðardóttir, the daughter of his wife’s sister, who was between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time. Guðrún, speaking candidly to Nýtt Líf, described the letters as sexual harrassment, which she charged him with in 2005. The case was dropped on the grounds that the letters were written from overseas.

Conspirators, conspirators everywhere

Throughout all this, Jón Baldvin has not only maintained his innocence. He has also maintained that each and every one of these accusations are all a part of an effort to ruin his good name, and has in addition slammed any media outlets that report on them.

With so many allegations, over so many years, from so many different people, the “conspiracy” charge does not hold much water.

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