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What’s behind mailers accusing state Senate candidate of ‘targeting’ woman?

Allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior are notable given that the Legislature has weathered its own share of sexual harassment allegations.
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
Election 2024
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Less than a week before the start of early voting, political mail pieces began arriving in Henderson-area mailboxes stamped with bold white lettering proclaiming: “Christian Bishop A Former Reality TV Star Accused Of Targeting An Innocent Woman Online.”

Aimed at voters in Southern Nevada’s Senate District 5, which covers parts of Henderson and Paradise, the mailer says that the Democratic candidate for the Legislature was “accused of pressuring a young woman for sex,” citing a podcast where two women discuss how Bishop, now 35 —  a former contestant on The Bachelorette — pressured a woman almost a decade younger than him for oral sex in 2022.

The mailer was sent by Nevada Legislative Victory, a PAC largely funded by incumbent Democratic state senators that has also sent mailers promoting Bishop’s primary opponent and caucus-endorsed candidate Jennifer Atlas.  

"We think Bishop's past conduct is disqualifying,” reads a statement sent from the PAC. “We think Democratic voters have every right to know about Bishop's significant liabilities before voting."

Atlas and Bishop are competing in one of the most expensive and most watched legislative primaries in the state, with the winner likely to challenge Sen. Carrie Buck (R-Henderson) in the 2024 general election. The stakes are high — Democrats need to flip just one state Senate seat held by Republicans to obtain a veto-proof supermajority, which would have major legislative and political consequences for the state and Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo.

Atlas — a paralegal and former lobbyist — has outraised Bishop, but he is outspending her and has a slightly higher cash-on-hand advantage over her heading into the primary, according to the most recently filed campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2024. The Daily Beast reported that Atlas’ campaign is also running negative mailers about the allegations that call her opponent “completely creepy and seriously disgusting.”

The allegations mentioned in the political mail raise questions about Bishop, a tech executive who often highlights his family, three children and support for women on his website and on social media.

Allegations of inappropriate sexual advances from a legislative candidate are also notable given that the 63-member body has, in recent years, weathered its own share of sexual harassment allegations against sitting and former legislators.

In an extensive statement responding to the mailer, Bishop described himself as a “proud husband, father and son” and apologized “if at anytime I made either of the women feel uncomfortable … I commit to continuing to educate myself and doing better as a man.”

The Nevada Independent spoke with Bishop and the woman in this podcast to find out: What’s the full story on the claim in the mailer? 

Mailer published by Nevada Legislative Victory.

‘I don't really know where your intentions are’

The mailer stems from a now-deleted TikTok video alleging that a former contestant on The Bachelorette had pressured a woman for sex in Las Vegas and then retaliated against her for “not being submissive.”

The woman, Lanae, and her friend who posted the video, Taylor, who The Nevada Independent is identifying only by first name for privacy reasons, discussed the allegations during a February 2022 episode of the She’s All Bach podcast focused on current and former contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette reality shows. Lanae spoke with The Nevada Independent for this story.

In the podcast, Lanae said Bishop struck up a relationship with her over Instagram while she was visiting Las Vegas from Salt Lake City. In the early stages of communicating, Lanae said Bishop texted her requesting nude photos, but she didn’t want to send any until they had gotten to know each other in person. 

She said he respected her stance and was persistent about meeting her in Vegas, so she thought he might genuinely be interested in a relationship. She took him up on an offer for him to pay for a hotel and drove with a friend out to Las Vegas to meet him the last weekend of January 2022.

Lanae told the podcast hosts that after reaching the hotel and as they were getting ready to head out for the night, Bishop told her she never fulfilled “(her) end of the deal” by providing nude photos and subsequently asked her to perform sexual acts. She said she declined. 

“He came back at me with, ‘mmm I think like, I don't really know where your intentions are. I don't know if I should treat you like a friend or someone I'm interested in dating,’” Lanae said on the podcast. “And I'm like, ‘Well, that's what we're gonna figure out this weekend, like we can hang out as friends, get to know each other, vibe, see where it goes.’”

Lanae and Taylor said on the podcast that throughout the rest of the night, Bishop expressed a desire for “dominance” over women and bragged about sleeping with “hundreds of women.” 

When they returned to the hotel room, they argued about expectations in a relationship, after which Bishop allegedly stormed out. They said that when they awoke the next morning, the hotel had sent them an email notifying them that Bishop had canceled the next night’s reservation.

Lanae told The Nevada Independent in an Instagram message, “The second we arrived at the hotel and he got me alone for 5 minutes, he asked me for head.”

She played recordings of the back-and-forth with Bishop during the podcast, which Taylor said both she and Lanae separately recorded because they were “uncomfortable” and Bishop was getting upset.

“Pretty much what you see in the video is him just saying that he wants Lanae to do exactly what he tells her just because he told her to,” Taylor said. “At one point, I actually started bawling my eyes out because I was like so heartbroken, seeing … how he was completely disrespecting my best friend.”

In the statement and in an interview with The Nevada Independent, Bishop said he “asked the woman for consent several times … and was given direct consent by her to proceed with our communications and involvement as indicated by the text messages provided.” 

“At no point was I given any indication that there was an issue with our conversations or interactions via text or private conversation,” he said in a statement. “Once the women arrived in Las Vegas, it became clear to me that the dynamics had changed and that I no longer should be engaging in the relationship.”

Bishop also denied that he requested oral sex, saying “I was open to it, but it wasn't an expectation or a requirement or anything like that.”

He said the video recording that was later shared to TikTok and in the podcast started off as a discussion about some people they had dated who had been on The Bachelor, and how people who appeared on the show date. 

“We were talking about gender roles in relationships and modern-age dating,” Bishop said. “So I was sharing my perspective, what I was looking for and what I was interested in, and we disagreed.”

Bishop acknowledged that it was “definitely a passionate conversation,” and he raised the volume of his voice because he felt he wasn’t being heard. He said that when Lanae and her friend made it clear that they weren’t interested in hearing his perspective and were recording him, he decided to leave.

“I was very careful, especially as a person of color, as a Black man,” Bishop said. “It still could be misconstrued and taken a different direction that something wrong happened when I thought I did what I was taught, right?”

He said he let them enjoy the rest of the night and told them that he would cancel the hotel room for the following day.  

“I'm not sure how they misunderstood that,” Bishop said.  

In a follow-up message with questions about Bishop’s characterization of the meeting, Lanae said she didn’t want to discuss the incident anymore and “he treated us like shit.”

Bishop said he embraces the scrutiny surrounding the podcast because the Legislature has not always been “the safest place” for people working there. 

“Consent, making sure people are respected, making sure that I'm being supportive, especially for women, is something that's really important to me, as a son to a single mom of four kids,” he said.

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