O’Donnell says she felt sexually harassed by CNN host

Chris Moody

Former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell is back in the news after she walked off in the middle of an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan where she was discussing her new book, an exchange she now says felt like "harassment."

O'Donnell ended the interview abruptly when Morgan asked her about gay marriage, but it wasn't that question that set her off, O'Donnell said later. The real problem, she said, was the preceding questions about her personal sex life that came before Morgan grilled her on gay marriage--the ones that are cut off from most of the edited clips that spread around the Internet just moments after the incident.

"His line of questioning was more than inappropriate and borderline creepy," O'Donnell said at a book signing in Washington, D.C. Thursday night. "He took the line of questioning in a very inappropriate way ... One person even called it borderline sexual harassment, and it certainly was making me uncomfortable."

In an interview on the "Today Show" Friday morning, O'Donnell suggested that Morgan's questions were sexist, saying he never would have asked those questions to a male politician.

So what did Morgan ask that set her off?

It all started with few questions about her abstinence activism during the 1990s. O'Donnell appeared on an MTV program called "Sex in the 90s" to speak against having sex before marriage and masturbation, which Morgan played during the show.

"Do you still think masturbation is wrong?" Morgan asked her. "Are you still a supporter of total abstinence, even if you're on your own?"

Morgan defended himself when O'Donnell declined to answer, saying, "your views on sex and stuff are relevant if you're going to be a politician."

Then, before launching into the questions about gay marriage that ended the interview, he made it personal.

"Have you committed lust in your heart?" he asked, referring to a passage in The Bible that says those who lust commit adultery.

"Let's not even go there," O'Donnell replied.

"To me it's a natural extension to ask you," Morgan replied, and then shifted to the questions about her views on gay marriage that ended with her walking out.

Morgan later said he saw no problem with the interview.

"I thought I was being my normal chivalrous self," he said. "And then she suddenly took huge umbrage, declared I was being rude and walked out."