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Andrew Gillum Talks March 2020 Hotel Incident with Sex Worker, Drugs

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday February 13, 2021

Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum  (Source:AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Andrew Gillum recently opened up to GQ about his night in a Miami Beach hotel with a sex worker and drugs, and the impact it's had on his marriage.

The Democrat — who served as mayor of Tallahassee, Florida from 2014 to 2018 when he left office to run for the governorship — came out as bisexual in September, six months after he was found in a hotel room with two other men, one of which was a male sex worker. In that March incident, Gillum found himself in the bathroom naked, with police questioning him as he came-to after having had too much to drink. Police found on-scene a bag with what was suspected to be crystal meth. Police had been called to the scene because of a drug overdose in the room.

Gillum is now saying he succumbed to drinking heavily after losing his bid for governor. On the day of the incident, he was supposed to officiate a wedding but spent the day drinking instead. He met up with Travis Dyson, a sex worker, at the Mondrian South Beach hotel. Gillum told GQ the two continued drinking and his last memory before police arrived was sitting up drinking. "Because I didn't take a drug test until two or three days later, I don't know if there was something in my drink," he said. Gillum maintains he didn't knowingly take drugs, suspects this was a set up, and should never have been in the hotel room.

Dyson remembers the evening differently, saying he and Gillum had met on Grindr a few weeks earlier and got together "multiple times for paid sexual encounters." According to Dyson, he and Gillum had taken G — GHB, or more commonly referred to as Liquid Ecstasy — many times before; but on the day in question, alleges Gillum mixed it with alcohol and that is why the former mayor cannot remember the incident.

Interestingly, GQ's Wesley Lowery said, "What precisely happened that night remains unclear. After learning that I had contacted Dyson for comment, the Gillums canceled our scheduled follow-up interviews and declined to respond on the record to Dyson's version of events."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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