Lawsuit Alleges Eric Adams Sexually Assaulted a Colleague

New York Mayor Eric Adams Holds Press Availability At City Hall
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former police administrative aide sued New York City mayor Eric Adams on Monday, alleging he demanded oral sex and masturbated in front of her after she sought out his help with a workplace issue in 1993. The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, comes four months after attorneys for plaintiff Lorna Beach-Mathura filed a summons on her behalf under the Adult Survivors Act, a special New York State law that granted victims a onetime, one-year lookback window in which to sue alleged sexual abusers. Beach-Mathura is seeking $5 million in damages, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination, quid pro quo sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Adams had denied assaulting Beach-Mathura in November, saying that “It absolutely did not happen” and “I don’t recall ever meeting this person.” The mayor’s office also rejected the more detailed claims in her lawsuit in a statement. “While we review the complaint, the mayor fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here; we expect full vindication in court,” New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix said. “Additionally, in 1993, Eric Adams was one of the most prominent public opponents of the racism within the NYPD, which is why the suit’s allegations that he had any sway over promotions of civilian employees is ludicrous.”

Beach-Mathura had spent more than a decade at the NYPD by 1993 and had been repeatedly passed over for a promotion at the Transit Bureau, an issue that was “all-too common for Black employees” at the time, according to the lawsuit. Shortly after her latest request had been denied, the lawsuit claims she ran into Adams, whom she knew from work and his role as leader of the Guardians Association, a fraternal organization for Black police officers. Beach-Mathura says she confided in Adams about being stonewalled when it came to a promotion, hoping he’d be able to help her because she saw him as a “champion” for Black cops. Adams told Beach-Mathura he’d be happy to help, according to the lawsuit, saying he could meet her outside the subway station she was assigned to after her shift ended and would drive her home to Coney Island.

Instead, the complaint alleges Adams drove her to a vacant parking lot. An alarmed Beach-Mathura explained again the problem she was having getting promoted despite her qualifications, to which the lawsuit alleges Adams responded by rubbing his penis through his clothes with his hand.

“Plaintiff was horrified and terrified to realize that Defendant Adams had an erection. Defendant Adams then said, in no uncertain terms, that he would help her but that he also needed a favor,” the complaint alleges. “He told her that he ‘needed a blow job’ from her. While repeatedly cajoling, demanding, and begging Plaintiff for oral sex, Defendant Adams unzipped his pants and pulled out his erect penis.”

Beach-Mathura repeatedly refused Adams, according to the lawsuit, but she alleges he still grabbed her hand and placed it on his penis, demanding a hand job. She feared she’d be raped and worried that Adams likely had a loaded gun in the car, but pulled her hand away. The lawsuit alleges Adams went on to masturbate before ejaculating on Beach-Mathura’s thigh and stocking. He then started the car and told her he had to go back to work before dropping her off at the nearest subway station.

The lawsuit also names the NYPD, the Guardians Association, and three “unknown entities” as defendants. Though Beach-Mathura was eventually promoted, the lawsuit says she was forced to transfer to the Department of Probation and lost her seniority. Beach-Mathura claims the move was a demotion, as she no longer supervised staff, and believes it happened because she didn’t acquiesce to Adams’s demands. Beach-Mathura says she didn’t report Adams at the time because she was afraid she’d lose her job, something she couldn’t afford as a divorced mother of young children. However, the lawsuit says that she did tell “numerous people, including other current and former NYPD and Defendant Transit Bureau employees” over the years, as well as her daughters.

Beach-Mathura was “appalled” when she learned of Adams’s mayoral bid, according to the complaint, and decided to share her experience after learning about the Adult Survivors Act because she “believed—and continues to believe—that putting the truth forward and holding assaulters and those who abuse their power accountable is worth the price she has already paid for coming forward.”

Lawsuit Alleges Eric Adams Sexually Assaulted a Colleague