A Florida woman filed a lawsuit in Manhattan on Wednesday against Mayor Eric Adams in which she accuses him of sexually assaulting her in 1993 and seeks $5 million in damages.
The suit gives no details about the events it says occurred decades ago when the mayor was a member of the Police Department. Mr. Adams denied its central claim.
“People know my character. They see how I am, how I carry myself,” the mayor told reporters Thursday, adding, “This never took place, and I do not recall ever meeting the accuser.”
The lawsuit, which also names the Police Department as a defendant, was filed under the Adult Survivors Act. Signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022, the law provided a one-year window for people to bring lawsuits over sexual assaults that may have occurred years or decades ago. The woman’s suit was filed in New York Supreme Court just before the law’s grace period was scheduled to expire on Friday.
The Times does not typically identify people who claim they have been victims of sexual violence.
In addition to sexual assault, the woman also accuses Mr. Adams and the department of employment discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The plaintiff said in the suit that she and Mr. Adams were both employees of the city. In 1993, Mr. Adams was an officer in the Police Department’s transit bureau, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit. He joined the department itself in 1995, after the transit bureau was absorbed into the larger agency.
The plaintiff could not be reached for comment. Her attorney in New York, Megan Goddard, did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment for this story.
The lawsuit is not the plaintiff’s first. In 2008, she sued American Airlines, arguing that an employee had caused her to fall out of a wheelchair, injuring her back. After four days of trial, a jury decided in favor of the airline.
She sued the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board in 2009, arguing that she was denied compensation after she was attacked by a student. She lost at trial and then appealed parts of the decision to the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, where she won several procedural motions but failed to win a retrial.
Last year, the plaintiff sued a casino in Florida, arguing the company was negligent in maintaining its facilities after a patron fell against her with such force that she feared “she was under ‘demonic attack,’” according to the lawsuit. That case is unresolved.