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Marianne Williamson denied reports about her abusive behavior with former staffers on Thursday. The author claimed she was the victim of a hit piece because she was ‘rattling someone’ in the Democratic Party with her presidential bid.
The self-help guru who preaches a love message has been accused of throwing a phone at a staffer, flying into rages and yelling at people until they cried.
She told Fox News the article in POLITICO resulted from ‘establishment political operatives.’
‘This is what they do. These are the hits that they make. Hit pieces come. Mockery from the press secretary to the president comes; the women on The View. These are the dirty tricks that mean you’re rattling someone. Somebody’s not happy that you’re there. Somebody feels threatened by the conversation that you’re bringing up. So, this is what happens in politics,’ she said.
Marianne Williamson called a report that she abuses staff a ‘hit piece’
Williamson, 70, also conceded that some of the allegations are true.
‘This is a hit piece. I think anytime that somebody criticizes you, you always have to ask yourself, is any of it true? Is 10% of it true? If 10% of it is true, then I want to correct that within myself and within my behavior. But that’s not what’s going on here. Do I have some things to learn from any experience, including that one? Absolutely. But I also think that people can see through the obvious game that’s being played here by establishment forces who don’t want me in the game,’ she said.
The shocking new report draws a sharply contrasting picture between Williamson’s public persona that teaches love, peace and forgiveness with the behind-the-scenes version of her.
The spiritual leader announced last month that she would run for president a second time, challenging Joe Biden in the Democratic primary. Her announcement speech was peppered with her philosophy of love and light.
‘We are upset about this country; we’re worried about this country,’ she said at her campaign kickoff event on March 5. ‘It is our job to create a vision of justice and love that is so powerful that it will override the forces of hatred and injustice and fear.’
But a new report in Politico paints a different image of Williamson, including allegations of having a massive ego that overshadowed her work, replete with bouts of explosive anger and screaming at people until they cried. A dozen former staffers said she was ‘cruel, demeaning and lacked compassion’ – including firing a staffer with breast cancer.
They noted she would yell about seemingly minor infractions, such as booking a hotel room with a walk-in shower and not a bathtub.
‘It would be foaming, spitting, uncontrollable rage,’ said a former staffer. ‘It was traumatic. And the experience, in the end, was terrifying.’
Among the incidents described: Williamson would throw her phone at staffers and how she got so angry about the logistics of a campaign trip to South Carolina that she pounded a car door until her hand started to swell.
She ended up getting treatment at a local urgent care facility.
New allegations out against Marianne Williamson accuse of her of yelling at staff and making them cry – above Williamson at a climate forum in September 2019
Marianne Williamson announced this month she will challenge Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary – above she campaigns in New Hampshire
She denied the allegations.
‘Those slanderous accusations are categorically untrue. Former staffers trying to score points with the political establishment by smearing me might be good for their careers, but the intention is to deflect attention from the important issues facing the American people,’ Williamson told DailyMail.com in a statement.
She confirmed the car incident but noted: ‘A car door is not a person. I would never be physically hurtful to a person.’
The Politico report said Williamson feared leaks from her staff about her behavior, noting she required staff to sign nondisclosure agreements, making clear they would be strictly enforced.
She defended the NDAs to DailyMail.com, noting: ‘NDAs for staff are procedural for campaigns. From proprietorial material to strategic planning, there is always a working legal framework for campaign communications.’
Williamson dropped out of the 2020 presidential race in January of that year, before the primaries had begun in earnest. She had gone through two campaign managers and dozens of staff in her short candidacy.
But she had some breakout moments as a candidate, including during a July 2019 Democratic presidential debate when she directly addressed then-President Donald Trump and told him: ‘I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win.’
Williamson is the author of more than a dozen books and found fame as a self-help guru. She markets her A Course in Miracles as a way to achieve inner peace. Its foundations stress love and forgiveness.
But Williamson has faced past allegations that she has a terrible temper. And she’s been accused of running a cult with her A Course in Miracles seminars and book empire.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times in 1992, she acknowledged the criticism, saying she comes across as ‘the bitch for God.’
Williamson gained fame as a spiritual guru and attracted an A-list following, above she is with actress Jamie Lee Curtis at a Project Angel Food event in September 2019
Williamson’s profile got a boost when Oprah Winfrey promoted her book
One person told Entertainment Weekly that Williamson has a ‘despotic, tyrannical streak and inability even to hear dissent.’
‘Pure human interchange shouldn’t be where you bark orders, scream at people, have contempt for them, tell them they don’t know what they’re doing when they’re volunteers — she’s disgusting.’
During her failed bid for a House seat in 2014, one prominent Democrat in Los Angeles accused her of running a cult.
‘She has some very unusual beliefs about the world, a cult following, but she’s not a credible candidate,’ Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, told LA Weekly. ‘She’s done a lot of work helping people heal, but that’s not preparation to be in Congress.’
Others, however, have spoken about how her work helped them during a rough time.
And her defenders note that while she asks for donations at her lectures, she doesn’t require them, allowing people to come for free. Often, she will spend hours talking to those who want counseling from her.
She founded the Los Angeles Center for Living and Profit Angel Food to deliver meals to AIDS patients and others fighting serious diseases. Her early spiritual work was counseling dying AIDS patients when the disease was at its height and poorly understood, leading to shunning and isolation for those suffering from it.
Her teachings attracted several high-profile celebrities, including Madonna, Raquel Welch, Rosanna Arquette, Cher, Kim Basinger and Barbra Streisand. She even officiated at Elizabeth Taylor’s final wedding.
Williamson with Joe Biden at an event in Iowa in August 2019