Conyers Hospitalized; Pelosi and Ryan Urge Resignation; Past Aide Breaks Silence

John Conyers first won his seat a year after President John Kennedy's assassination. (Facebook photo)

Multiple developments involving veteran Congressman John Conyers are reported Thursday by ABC News and others:

  • The 88-year-old "dean" of the House is hospitalized in Detroit with a stress-related illness. Attorney, Arnold Reed and Sam Riddle, speaking for the lawmaker, confirm the 26-term Democrat's hospitalization., representatives say.
  • The House's two leaders, Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, say for the first time that he should leave.

"The allegations against Congressman Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible," Pelosi tells reporters. "It's very sad. The brave women who came forward are owed justice. I pray for Congressman Conyers and his family; however, Congressman Conyers should resign."

Minutes later, Ryan said at a news conference, "He should resign and I think he should immediately."

Original article, Thursday morning:

Marion Brown, the former staffer for Congressman John Conyers who received a sexual harassment settlement of $27,000, broke her silence on Thursday, telling NBC's Today Show that Conyers "violated my body," propositioned her in hotels and made her feel very uneasy.

"He touched me in different ways. It was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional," said Brown, who worked for Conyers for 11 years. "I'm here to say I'm not a liar."

Conyers, 88, denies behaving badly.

Marion Brown on NBC.

Brown's comments could make tougher for Conyers, the House' longest-serving member, to remain in office. He has refused to resign despite pressure from colleagues, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he helped start in 1971 -- six years after he arrived.

He'll reportedly announce in January that he won't seek re-election in 2018.

Sitting alongside lawyer Lisa Bloom, Brown explained why she breaks a confidentiality agreement in her legal settlement:  

"I am taking a risk. And the reason why I'm taking a risk – and it's important – I want to be a voice.

"My granddaughter, when she enters the workforce, I want her to not endure sexism and gender inequality."

She said Conyers often invited her to his hotel room and in 2005 in Chicago, stripped down to his underwear and pointed to his penis and asked her to touch it. 

She said she froze in shock. "I didn't know what to do," Brown said. "I didn't want to lose my job. I didn't want to upset him." She said she told him she had to go.

Conyers also asked her to find women who would sexually satisfy him, the former aide said. She said she complained to Conyers' chief of staff, but nothing changed.

Explaining why she stayed, Brown said she enjoyed the job and needed income as a single mother of four. 

She stops short of saying that she wanted her ex-boss to resign.

"All I want from the congressman is to acknowledge what he did and apologize to me for calling me a liar.

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