Posts shared on Facebook show Vice President Kamala Harris with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and describe the image as « married 60-year-old Willie Brown » and « his 29-year-old lover, Kamala. » Although the photo seems authentic, he had been separated from his wife for more than a decade when he and Harris dated in the mid-1990s. Their relationship, which ended in 1995, was no secret.
The picture of Harris and Brown shared in the posts appeared in a 2019 article in the Washington Examiner (here). The original photo, for which the Washington Examiner gives no source, date or location, shows two other people on the left side of the frame.
Kamala Harris was in a relationship with Willie Brown between 1994 and 1995 (here) later served as mayor of San Francisco. The Los Angeles Times first linked the couple in 1994 (here) when Harris, who began her career in the Alameda County Attorney’s Office, was 29 years old and Brown, spokesman for the California State Assembly (here), was 60 (here) .
Although Brown was legally married at the time, according to People Magazine (here) he had been estranged from his wife Blanche Brown since 1981.
As reported (here) in the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris and separated Brown 1995. On December 26, 1995, reporter Herb Caen wrote in his daily column that the couple had split up, adding, “The news came as a shock to many, including those who found Kamala Harris attractive, intelligent and charming . “
Brown was Mayor of San Francisco from 1996 to 2004 (here). Harris was elected to become the San Francisco District Attorney in 2003. The claim that Harris « had an affair with a married man » is technically true. Given that Brown had been separated from his wife for more than a decade, the claim is misleading. Haris and Brown’s relationship was not a secret, and they made public appearances as a couple (here, here).
In a 2003 interview during her campaign for the San Francisco District Attorney, Harris told SF Weekly that she did refused to “design my campaign to criticize Willie Brown for appearing independent when I have no doubt that I am independent of him – and that he would now probably express some fear that he would be me can not control. “(Here)
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On January 26, 2019, Brown posted a short comment in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled, “Sure, I dated Kamala Harris. So what? ”(Here). Brown said he was recently“ riddled with calls from the national media about my “relationship” with Kamala Harris, especially as it became apparent that she was running for the presidency. Most of them I have not returned. Yes, we have an appointment. It was more than 20 years ago. “
A similar claim about Harris and Brown’s relationship was made in a misleading meme about Harris previously covered by Reuters Fact Check here.
Lack of context. Although Willie Brown was legally married when he and Kamala Harris dated in the mid-1990s, he had been estranged from his wife for more than a decade.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking here.
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