Felicia Sönmez Sues The Washington Post and Martin Baron


On Wednesday, Washington Post reporter Felicia Sönmez filed a discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper and some of its top editors, alleging that they discriminated against her by preventing her from publishing news about sexual assault after she was made public as the victim of the attack.

Sonmez, who has been covering breaking news in The Post since 2018, said in her case that she was exposed to a hostile work environment after her editors placed two bans that prevented her from succeeding at work for nearly two years. .

The case was filed in the Supreme Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday. Among the defendants is Martin Baron, the retired former editor-in-chief of The Post. in February. Five senior editors, Cameron Barr, Tracy Grant, Steve Ginsberg, Lori Montgomery and Peter Wallsten are also cited as defendants in the lawsuit.

After Mrs. Sonmez said in the case made public Reporting that she was attacked by a journalist while living in Beijing in 2018, The Post banned Christine Blasey Ford from reporting sexual harassment allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. (The accused journalist, who was working for the Los Angeles Times at the time, denied the allegations.)

A year later, when an article about the allegations against the journalist appeared in Reason magazine, Sönmez said that he was again subject to a news ban by The Post. He added that he was “disciplined” by his editors at The Post for publicly requesting that the manuscript be corrected.

Mrs. Sonmez in January 2020 suspended After tweeting a link to a news article by The Post detailing allegations of sexual assault against basketball star Kobe Bryant shortly after his death. In the lawsuit, she alleges that The Post failed to provide her security after she was subjected to rape and death threats. This suspension later broke down.

According to the lawsuit, the second news ban against Sönmez was lifted after she publicly begged her editors to do so.

Due to news broadcast bans, Sönmez was “rejected from the opportunity to cover many of the stories that are newsworthy and receive widespread attention that could lead to further disclosure and career advancement,” the lawsuit said. He also suffered “economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, mental and emotional distress, and deprivation of equal employment opportunities,” according to the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for The Post declined to comment. Mr Baron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sonmez, represented by the Washington firm Alderman, Devorsetz & Hora, requested a trial by a jury. He’s seeking $2 million in damages, or a “jury-determined” amount.


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