For some strange reason the word “candid” has been used to describe Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill’s unsolicited revelation that he has had 50 sexual partners in his lifetime.
A better word for ONeill’s attention grabbing post on his personal Facebook site is “pathetic.”
No one asked the Democratic office holder about his sexual history and, indeed, no one cares. He has run for office many times, and not once did his personal life become an issue. That’s because no one cares.
So, what prompted a member of Ohio’s highest court to share the lurid details of his sex life with the public? The only plausible explanation is that he’s under the allusion the things he says outside his role as a member of the bench matter.
Unfortunately, what he originally posted on his Facebook site is now a part of his public history.
Here’s what he wrote – before he deleted the post in the wake of intense public criticism:
“Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. …”
He then went on to describe his relationship with two women in particular, whom he did not identify by name but provided enough details so their relatives and friends would know them.
O’Neill’s disregard for their feelings shows the extent of his self-absorption.
He ended his Facebook post with this:
“Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”
O’Neill was harshly criticized by an array of public officials, both Democrats and Republicans, and also was taken to task by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.
While his initial response was that his critics should calm down, he then edited the post to remove the specific references to the women. But as the condemnation continued, he offered an apology of sorts, and finally on Sunday admitted he was wrong.
According to the Associated Press, O’Neill said he was headed to church to “get right with God” and he apologized to his two daughters and two sisters.
The Ohio Supreme Court justice said he realizes he has hurt his family, friends and strangers with his “insensitive remarks,” while damaging the national debate on sexual harassment and abuse, the wire service reported.
O’Neill’s original post from last Friday was intended to be a defense of Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. Critics are demanding his resignation in light of allegations of unwanted sexual advances from two women. To put it plainly, he groped them.
ONeill’s defense of Franken is indefensible given the growing list of sexual harassment claims being made against men in positions of power and authority.
The most glaring example is playing out in Alabama where the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Roy Moore, former chief justice of the state supreme court, has been accused of sexually preying on teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
Moore has denied the allegations and contends there’s a political conspiracy by establishment Republicans and Democrats to undermine his candidacy.
Despite the fact that at least eight women have accused Moore of sexually assaulting them or pursuing sexual relations with them when they were teenagers, the GOP nominee continues to enjoy strong support.
That’s not surprising given the fact that Republican Donald J. Trump won the presidency last year despite the fact that more than a dozen women accused the billionaire real estate developer of sexual misconduct.
Like Moore, Trump denied the accusations and portrayed them as nothing more than a political conspiracy against him.
A disturbingly large number of voters last year seemed to conclude that sexual misconduct on the part of powerful men is no big deal. President Trump has never apologized for his behavior.
By constrast, Sen. Franken has said he regrets his misbehavior.