Former NC NAACP staffer sues for $15 million after sexual harassment claim

Gatewood Victim at Press conference

By Cash Michaels

February 28, 2020 2:57PM
Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels

A female former staffer of the NC NAACP has filed suit in Durham Superior Court for $15 million, claiming sexual harassment by her former supervisor, the Rev. Curtis Gatewood.

Jazmyme Childs initially made the bombshell allegations late last year just two weeks before the 2019 NC NAACP State Convention in October. Gatewood initially denied her allegations, but later admitted that his actions “…may have been received as sexual.”

Ms. Childs, 27, is also suing the national NAACP, alleging that when she made her complaints about Gatewood in 2017, the national office didn’t immediately act to suspend Gatewood, even after NCNAACP leadership commissioned an investigation proving her allegations, and sending that report to the national office.

“The NAACP “…is liable for the misconduct of Gatewood because the National NAACP ratified [his] conduct,’ Childs’ suit alleges.

In 2017, Ms. Childs was the youth and college field secretary for the NCNAACP. Her lawsuit alleges that because of Gatewood’s sexual harassment, she has suffered from depression, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. The legal action seeks over $5 million in compensatory damages, and more than $25,000 in punitive damages per battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress charges.

According to published reports, Gatewood was suspended in September 2019 after Ms. Childs made her allegations public. In January, Gatewood asked to have his membership reinstated.

Neither Ms. Childs, her attorneys, Rev. Gatewood, or officials with the National NAACP were available for comment at press time.