The Portland massage therapist who accused Al Gore of sexual assault has gone public and revealed her name. So who is Molly Hagerty? Gawker has some details.
Last night, Radar Online reported that Hagerty, 54, will reveal herself in next week's issue of the National Enquirer. The supermarket tabloid broke the story last week when it dug up a 2006 police report that detailed Hagerty's encounter with the former vice president, accusing him of sexually attacking her in a Portland hotel room. The Enquirer has since confirmed it secured an on-the-record interview with Hagerty and published the first photo of Al Gore's accuser. (Not coincidentally, Radar Online and the Enquirer share the same parent company, American Media, Inc.)
Of course, local media outlets immediately jumped on the story last week and started contacting Hagerty's friends, relatives, and neighbors, and Gawker independently verified her identity late last week. So what do we know about her?
Public records show that Hagerty has been a licensed massage therapist since September, 1996. Her license expires next December, though it's unclear if she still practices as an LMT (the police report says she used to schedule outcalls to local Portland hotels but stopped doing that shortly after the Gore encounter and—as recently as 2009—booked appointments from a private office in Portland).
In the late '80s, Hagerty—whose full name is Margaret Rosemary Hagerty—lived in Texas with her then-husband, Jeffery Bakely. Hagerty told police she had lived in Texas for 12 years and still had friends in Houston and records show the couple divorced sometime in the early '90s. Bakely has since relocated to Philadelphia; we called to get his take on his ex-wife's accusations, but haven't heard back. We also identified six of Hagerty's siblings; only two answered their phones and both declined to comment.
Gawker did speak to Donna Burleigh, a close friend of Hagerty's who had earlier defended her to a local TV news station. Burleigh said her friend had e-mailed her in recent days, thanking Burleigh for speaking out and adding: "I cannot talk to you now or anyone but will when I'm allowed by advisors to do so. Thank you so much for your help, my friend, you have the courage of ten lions."
Why is Hagerty speaking out now? The Washington Post reported late last week that Hagerty tried to solicit $1 million for her story. Enquirer executive editor Barry Levine told the Post that the tabloid didn't pay any money to secure the story and only conducted a brief interview with her, although it's quite likely that changed some time between the Enquirer's first story—which omitted her name and didn't include a photo—and the one scheduled for next week, which involved her cooperation.
Portland reporters have clearly known the accuser's name since the scandal first unfolded but withheld it to protect her privacy as is customary in cases of sexual assault, though the Oregonian did publish her neighbors' names and photos of Hagerty's apartment complex). By Friday, reporters for KATU-2, the local ABC affiliate in Portland, were even circulating this photo to Hagerty's friends, asking, "Is this Molly?"
We asked Burleigh to confirm the photo, but she wouldn't commit other than to say, "It looks like her with a bad hairdo."
The Enquirer interview will supposedly reveal "more evidence," including a "key witness," "DNA testing," and "video footage." Hagerty never mentioned a witness or video evidence in her statement to Portland police, and authorities say they never collected the clothes she kept because, "due to the description she gave of the incident, detectives [...] did not feel there was any evidentiary value to the clothing."