JAZMYNE CHILDS SEXUAL
HARASSMENT CASE AGAINST
REV. GATEWOOD POSTPONED AGAIN
By Cash Michaels – Contributing writer January 28th 2023
As of now, there is no clear date when former NC NAACP Youth and College Field Secretary Jazmyne Childs and former NC NAACP Interim Field Director Rev. Curtis Gatewood will face each other in a Durham courtroom for Ms. Childs’ sexual harassment case.
According to Attorney Harvey Kennedy of the Winston-Salem law firm of Kennedy, Kennedy and Kennedy, which represents Ms. Childs, the civil litigation trial was supposed to begin next Tuesday, January 17th. But that date was recently continued (postponed) by the court at the request of the attorney for the defendant.
Atty. Kennedy said that the court may decide a new date within a month.
Kennedy added that the trial date had previously been continued to January 17th from an original date after he was involved in a serious accident.
The lawsuit was originally filed in February 2020.
Ms. Childs is suing Rev. Gatewood and the national NAACP for at least $15 million for emotional and mental distress, claiming alleged sexual harassment by Rev. Gatewood when he was her supervisor in 2017.
Ms. Childs maintains that she has suffered from depression, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia as a result.
She also seeks over $5 million in compensatory damages and more than $25,000 in punitive damages on each of three claims of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She alleges that the national NAACP and its president, Derrick Johnson, did nothing when the harassment was documented by an outside investigator and reported to him in October 2017. Ms. Childs resigned her NC NAACP position in August 2018 because, according to her suit, she feared that Gatewood “would continue to stalk and intimidate her,” even after he received a cease-and-desist letter from her in December 2017.
Johnson did not suspend Gatewood until 2019. Ms. Childs’ lawsuit states that the NAACP “is liable for the misconduct for Gatewood because the National NAACP ratified Gatewood’s conduct.”
The national NAACP president attended the NC NAACP state convention in Winston-Salem, where he “publicly scolded and rebuked Ms. Childs for going to the press and not handling the matter within the organization,” the lawsuit said. “Ms. Childs was present and heard President Johnson’s remarks.”
Pres. Johnson was reportedly added to the lawsuit because of his alleged remarks.
For his part, Rev. Gatewood has denied Jazmyne Childs’ sexual harassment allegations, calling them “baseless, frivolous and outrageously nonfactual,” though he reportedly told an Associated Press reporter at the time in an email that while he never intentionally harassed anyone, he realized his actions “may have been received as sexual.”