Matt Gaetz's Florida sex game included a 'Harry Potter' challenge and 'extra points' for sleeping in sorority houses, a female Republican tells Insider
- Rep. Matt Gaetz is accused of playing a sex “game” with a “Harry Potter” theme.
- People got points if they had sex with married colleagues or did sorority overnights, a source said.
- New details of Gaetz’s past are spilling out now that he’s under a sex-trafficking investigation.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Sleeping with married legislators. Spending the night at a college sorority house.
These were specific ways now-US Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Florida lawmakers could earn “extra points” in a sex competition in which Gaetz is accused of participating when he served in the state’s House of Representatives, a female GOP insider who worked with Gaetz in the 2010s told Insider in an interview.
The sex competition even involved the “Harry Potter” book series, the GOP source told Insider.
Anyone who had sex with a certain conservative woman “won the whole game regardless of points,” she said. That woman was known as the “snitch,” a nod to the “Harry Potter” game of Quidditch. The GOP source said she “heard specific references of Gaetz being involved and scoring points.” She declined to name the woman to protect her privacy.
Her accusations about Gaetz’s participation in this sex competition build upon others. Chris Latvala, a Republican state representative who overlapped with Gaetz in the Florida House, accused Gaetz in a 2020 tweet of creating a “game where members of the FL House got ‘points’ for sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators.” Another way to obtain points was to have sex with “virgins,” ABC reported this week, citing a source.
The existence of the “game” among male lawmakers was the “worst kept secret in Tallahassee,” the GOP insider said. Lawmakers who participated publicly bragged about it, even among their female colleagues; some male legislators who didn’t participate jokingly lamented the fact that they abstained, the Republican said.
The culture in the Florida Capitol is getting renewed scrutiny after The New York Times reported Gaetz was the subject of a Justice Department investigation into whether he broke sex-trafficking laws with a 17-year-old girl in 2019.
Gaetz has denied the allegations and said he’s the victim of a criminal extortion scheme against his family. Gaetz has also denied any knowledge of the sex competition in Tallahassee, Florida.
The congressman’s office did not respond to Insider’s request for comment about the allegations about Gaetz’s conduct.
‘Such a skeeze’
Just about everyone in Gaetz’s orbit — former staffers in Florida, ex-Trump officials, and Capitol Hill aides — have been gossiping about the congressman’s legal and public-relations woes this week.
At least one former staffer said she saw her work for Gaetz in a new light after news of the investigation broke.
After Insider informed her of the sex-trafficking allegations during an interview, his former 2016 campaign staffer Karli Andrews said, “Oh, my god, no way. Oh, my god.”
“Knowing that, now I feel just — ew — I cannot even believe I talked this guy up and helped him become elected, for him to be such a skeeze,” Andrews, who has since left politics, said.
Republican insiders and former Gaetz staffers were active in text chains that “started blowing up this week” as reports emerged about the Justice Department investigation, according to one former aide.
Trump White House officials who disliked Gaetz were texting gleefully Tuesday night about his legal peril, Insider previously reported. And a former Gaetz staffer was checking in with the congressman’s current aides to find out whether they were doing OK.
Gaetz staff were pulled into a meeting on Tuesday and basically told not to worry about the reports, but some of them were nervous, a former Gaetz staffer told Insider.
The congressman’s spokesman Luke Ball resigned suddenly from the congressman’s office out of principle, NBC reported on Friday, citing a person familiar with the situation.
“The Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz and Luke Ball have agreed that it would be best to part ways. We thank him for his time in our office, and we wish him the best moving forward,” Gaetz’s chief of staff, Jillian Lane Wyant, said in an email.
‘I’m not a monk’
During Gaetz’s Tallahassee days, about two dozen male lawmakers participated in the sex competition, the GOP insider said. A handful of male lobbyists participated, too, she added.
That person said she hoped publicly discussing the culture in Tallahassee might help other women to avoid harassment and sexual misconduct that has long been pervasive.
Gaetz was also known for hanging out with a group of men in the back of a Tallahassee restaurant called the 101 Restaurant & Lounge, which has since closed.
“They would just set up court, and people would just cycle through there,” she said. “There were always young, pretty girls around.”
In one bizarre incident during 2013, Gaetz’s dog bit a law-school student at the restaurant.
Gaetz, 38, also has a reputation on Capitol Hill for dating young women, according to two current congressional aides. It was widely known that Gaetz was dating a college student over the age of consent in 2018, The Daily Beast reported.
CNN reported this week that Gaetz showed other lawmakers photos and videos of naked women he said he had slept with. And during Gaetz’s first term in Congress, staff for then-House Speaker Paul Ryan had a discussion with Gaetz in the Capitol about acting professionally while in Congress, CNN said.
Gaetz got engaged to Ginger Luckey, a 26-year-old Harvard Business School student, in December.
Photos of Luckey and Gaetz populate the social-media accounts of Gaetz and Luckey.
But Gaetz hasn’t always been so public about his love life.
Gaetz called a Mother Jones reporter in 2019, asking her not to identify the women he’d dated because it would put them at risk. He said he got death threats “from the same demographic of people who shot up the Republican baseball game” just outside Washington, DC, in 2017.
He told the magazine, “I’m not a monk. I’m just a congressman.”
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