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Beyond #MeToo: Is There Redemption for Bob Filner?

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Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner waits to announce his resignation in 2013. (Bill Wechter/Getty Images)

The California Report's new series Beyond #MeToo: Abuse and Power Through a California Lens tackles many of the questions that have arisen in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and investigates how they play out in our lives, past the headlines.

The Possibility of Redemption: Bob Filner 

Back in 2013, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner resigned from his office at the end of August. He pleaded guilty to three charges: felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor battery charges. The felony involved forcibly restraining a woman, and the misdemeanors involved groping or kissing two others. At least 19 women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment. Filner was sentenced to 90 days of in-home confinement, three years of probation and fines. He also agreed to never seek or hold public office again.

At the time, Filner wrote:

To all the women that I offended, I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or emotional space. I was trying to establish personal relationships. But the combination of awkwardness and hubris, I think, led to behavior that many found offensive. I, again, as I have in the past, sincerely apologize to all of you and I will try to make amends in any suitable manner.

In the wake of this #MeToo moment, we decided to ask Filner if he would talk with us, more than four years later, about making amends and if there is a possibility of redemption.

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To our surprise, he agreed.

What was going through his mind as he committed these acts?

That was the first question host John Sepulvado asked Filner:

Have you ever confronted someone who harassed you? Did you forgive them? How did you move past it, or is that even possible?

Call us with your stories, and we’ll play some of them on The California Report: 415-553-2204. You can also email us with your contact information, and we’ll give you a call back: calreport@kqed.org.

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