NEW YORK –– Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., has been fired from Morgan Stanley after allegations that he groped a female business associate.
Ford, who represented Tennessee in the House from 1997 to 2007, denied allegations that a woman was forced to call a security guard after he intimidated and grabbed her one evening in Manhattan several years ago.
"I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life," Ford said in a Twitter post Thursday.
Ford insinuated that the incident in question was in fact completely innocuous and occurred during "drinks and dinner." He also said he intends to sue Morgan Stanley over his "improper termination" and separately sue a HuffPost reporter over "these false claims."
But an email obtained by the reporter showed that Ford apologized to the woman he allegedly harassed after she told him to back off and stop asking her out for drinks.
"Hey very sorry. Meant no harm," Ford wrote in the email. "And I apologize for whatever I may have said or what was said. And my overtures are strictly professional. Again I apologize didn't mean to be inappropriate at all. Sorry that impression was left."
The alleged incident also prompted Morgan Stanley to begin an internal investigation into the woman's claims.
The woman, who declined to be identified, was not a Morgan Stanley employee at the time of the alleged incident but interacted professionally with Ford regularly.
A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley confirmed that Ford was fired for "conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies." She declined to comment on Ford's lawsuit threat.
Ford joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director in 2011.
This story was updated Dec. 7 at 7:35 p.m. with more information.