Carly Hammond, a reporter who worked for Truth Against the Machine (TATM), has brought a sexual assault allegation against Jordan Chariton, a progressive reporter who runs TATM and works for The Young Turks (TYT). In a report shared on Huffington Post, she said that Chariton instigated sexual contact without her consent at a group party. Chariton, meanwhile, has said that he has proof that her allegations aren’t true and although a sexual encounter did occur, there was mutual consent. No charges or lawsuits have been filed in relation to the allegation, but news of the allegation has been spreading in progressive circles ever since Chariton addressed them in a Medium post.
The two met a second time, after the group party, and they both have shared different versions of that encounter, too. Hammond said she thought she was going to New York for work, and Chariton said she requested to go in order to explore their relationship. Meanwhile, friends and colleagues are split, with some supporting Hammond and some supporting Chariton, and an investigation is underway by TYT. Jordan Chariton was the first investigative reporter hired by The Young Turks, and is known for his reporting on the Flint water crisis, Standing Rock, and WikiLeaks’ DNC leaks. Here’s everything that is known about the allegations so far.
The allegations were first shared in a series of Huffington Post stories written by Christian Chiakulas, who worked for Chariton’s independent news organization called Truth Against the Machine. Chiakulas’ first story didn’t mention any names and was titled “Why I Left a Promising Position with an Up-and-Coming Progressive Media Organization.” In his article, Chiakulas said he was writing the story because Chariton preemptively released a statement about the allegations that were coming.
In his first story, Chiakulas said that he had been excited to work for TATM, a project to mobilize independent journalists. After the Harvey Weinstein allegations, he heard about a journalist he didn’t know personally who quit TATM because of something that happened between her and Chariton. He said the journalist was confused and ashamed. He wrote:
Since Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, we as a society have apparently decided to try this radical new idea called “believing women.” That is what I chose to do, and Chariton is terrified that others will do as well when his victims come forward (and they will be coming forward).
After talking to the journalist — later named as Carly Hammond in a second story, Chiakulas resigned his position with TATM. He said that he had no personal vendetta against Chariton, whom he never met, but was “simply choosing to believe women.”
But it was his second piece with Huffington Post where he named Chariton’s accuser that has generated the most controversy.
Carly Hammond Worked for Chariton’s News Organization, Truth Against the Machine
Carly Hammond, the subject of Chiakulas’ second piece with The Huffington Post, also worked for Chariton’s organization, Truth Against the Machine. According to Chiakulas’ article, she met Chariton through Zee Cohen while covering the water crisis in Flint. (Chiakulas mentions that Cohen is “another accuser” but doesn’t elaborate on how or why, except to say that Cohen did not believe Hammond at first but later changed her mind.)
Hammond’s work mostly involved covering the Flint water crisis. You can see one example of her coverage in the video above. In addition to her video reporting, Hammond also wrote articles for TATM.
Hammond Said that Sexual Misconduct Happened at a Group Party, but Chariton Said He Had Consent
This section is going to share Carly Hammond’s story of what happened, as reported by Chiakulas in the Huffington Post, compared to Jordan Chariton’s version of what happened, as he shared on Medium.
Hammond told Chiakulas that the incident in question happened in May 2017, when she went out for drinks with Chariton, a TYT cameraman Ty Bayliss, and a TYT reporter Chelsea Lyons. They all returned to Chariton’s hotel room “wasted,” she said. She said she went because she wanted to feel accepted and validated by reporters she had admired. Hammond said:
It was an opportunity to develop closer ties with people who could take me places. Jordan would constantly remind me that he has tons of connections, that I’m very talented and skilled, and that he can help me ‘be a star.’”
Chariton, however, said that although they had a few drinks, no one in the group was actually drunk.
Hammond said they all got into a hot tub together, drank more alcohol, and Chariton eventually left and went to bed. Meanwhile, Bayliss and Lyons were making out in the hot tub. In Chariton’s version, he said that the two women were making out in the Jacuzzi, but he agreed that he left the group and went to sleep.
According to Chiakulas’ report, Hammond said that she decided to go to sleep later and the only bed available was Chariton’s. He was snoring when she joined him and went to sleep. Chariton also agreed in his version that he was asleep when Hammond went to bed.
Hammond said that when she woke up, Lyons was trying to kiss her and she tried pushing her off. Then Bayliss tried to kiss her too. Hammond said:
All I could think was, ‘No,’ and let’s be clear, I said it too. Not loudly. I couldn’t yell. But if someone looked at that face, and asked themselves if I wanted any if this, the answer is f***ing no.”
Hammond recalled that Lyons woke up Chariton and said: “She’s beautiful, enjoy her” and Chariton then said, “Are you sure?” Hammonds said Chariton was asking Lyons, not her, if it was OK. She said he then did “pretty much everything else he could do” without actually having sex with her.
This is where Chariton’s version differs sharply. According to Chariton, it was the man who woke him up while the two women were having sex in the bed where he was sleeping. He said that when he was asked to join them, he specifically asked for consent, which he received. Chariton wrote:
I have written statements from the other two people in the room confirming that they heard me ask the woman receiving oral sex if she was Ok and if I could approach her intimately- and most importantly, heard her consent.”
In Chiakulas’ report, Hammond said that she eventually kicked Chariton and he stopped, apologized, and took her to the lobby, where he was affectionate. She said she didn’t know how to respond, so she accepted responsibility. She said: “I chose to do the dumbest thing imaginable and accept responsibility for what happened … Might as well just believe everything he says because he’s 11 years older than me and I didn’t want to go through feeling like a victim again.”
Chariton, meanwhile, said that while he and Hammond were intimate, he eventually heard her make a sound indicating she was no longer happy with the situation. He wrote: “I stopped immediately, and she confessed that she had grown distressed about the impact of our intimacy on her marriage. I immediately ended the intimacy and requested that we sit up and talk.”
Chariton said they spent the next few hours in the lobby talking and being affectionate. He said that she wrote him on Facebook the next morning: “Thanks for sacrificing sleep to talk to me last night. I really appreciate it.”
According to both accounts, Chariton and Hammond met in New York later. Chariton didn’t name Hammond in his article, but said that she wrote him on Facebook asking when she should come to New York. He said they ultimately decided not to continue a relationship when he wanted kids and she did not.
Hammond’s story is different. She told Chiakulas that it was Chariton who suggested she spend her own money to fly to New York to work on more reporting. But once she got to his apartment, she said “I knew … everything was a total lie.” She said she felt trapped and left four days later.
Chariton, meanwhile, wrote that it wasn’t until much later that he had any idea that she was upset:
“I was advised that she had changed her depiction of events in May, and had begun telling friends that she was starting to remember things differently. … My instinct was to approach her because I was horrified if a woman thought I’d taken advantage of her, but the friend that told me about her allegation talked me out of it for fear that the woman would be upset she told me. Because I had sought and received her affirmative consent at every opportunity, it never occurred to me that the situation could take a dark turn.”
Chariton Said He Has Proof that He’s Innocent
Chariton has said that he has proof to back up his assertions. In his Medium article, he said that he has screenshots of the Facebook conversations they had after their encounter in May and before she came to visit him in New York.
“I have numerous screenshots of our subsequent conversations, all showing that her tone and attitude toward me did not change after our night at the hotel,” he wrote. “There was never a hint of dismay, hurt, or fear of me. If anything, she expressed more interest, asking to visit and explore our relationship.”
He said that if the woman came forward publicly, he would defend himself and provide evidence of his innocence. Hammond did come forward after he wrote the story, and Chiakulas wrote that more would be coming forward in the future.
Different Groups Are Starting to Take Sides, Some Supporting Hammond and Some Supporting Chariton
The allegations are splitting groups apart, as some take Hammond’s side and others take Chariton’s. Chariton wrote on Medium that he came forward because he had heard about a group of people who were “plotting” against him.
I’ve learned that this woman and a group of others with a vendetta against me for unrelated reasons have been targeting my professional colleagues and plotting to try and ‘take me down.’ Their plotting got so in-depth—and frankly irrational—that theories were posed suggesting since I worked on Bill O’Reilly’s floor at Fox News eight years ago—for four months—they should find women I worked with there to come forward. There was also talk about digging into my college days. There was also talk about asking women about their encounters with me that I’ve never even met. There was also false stories told by one person in particular—with a proven track record of lying…”
Here are two of the people who have come out in support of Chariton:
Meanwhile, Chiakulas wrote that several other employees came out supporting Hammond and sharing their own stories of being objectified or talked down to by Chariton. Chiakulas added that Paula Martinez-Benge would be sharing her own story in the future. Several others have come out on social media supporting Hammond’s story. Here are a few:
Ruel James, who left Truth Against the Machine and was formerly a chief editor, also spoke out against Chariton. Here’s what he said on Facebook. Ruel said: “Having met Jordan, having heard how Jordan speaks about women, I do believe these accusations are true.” He didn’t see any actions for himself, but said he heard Chariton bragging about the women he had slept with.
Jenn Dize, who lists her job on Facebook as “Jordan’s brain at Truth Against the Machine” and is also a writer for Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, was mentioned in Chiakulas’ article but contested his story. Dize also commented on James’ video above, angry at his allegations. She wrote that she offered Chiakulas and James facts which they ignored.
“How DARE you do this to actual survivors?,” she wrote, later adding, “You are doing a disservice to survivors like me. Who have INVESTIGATED this issue VERY thoroughly.”
The Young Turks Has Placed Chariton on Administrative Leave Pending an Investigation
Chariton said that he proactively went to The Young Turks to let them know about the allegations that were brewing against him, he wrote. TYT put him on administrative leave and hired an outside investigator to look into the allegations. Chariton said that he believed TYT’s actions were correct and he was 100 percent confident that his version of the story would be confirmed.
We will update this story as more information is available.