59-year-old Tennessee State Rep. Bill Sanderson reportedly hit on men 40 years younger than him despite being married to a woman and repeatedly voting for anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Cari Wade Gervin — a longtime political reporter who covers Tennessee news, politics and gossip site The Dog and Pony Show — has accused 59-year-old Tennessee state Rep. Bill Sanderson of “openly soliciting sex” and sending “sexually explicit messages and pictures to men almost 40 years his junior” while voting repeatedly in favor of anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Sanderson resigned today. He says he’s resigning to run his business, White Squirrel Winery, but Gervin claims that his resignation was partly in response to the revealing of his same-sex encounters.
In January 2014, the gossip blog The Dirty published messages Sanderson allegedly sent to an unnamed male Vanderbilt student in which Sanderson writes that he is a “state rep” representing Obion, Lake and Dyer Counties, his actual district.
But while Grindr messages are easily faked, Gervin writes:
“The Grindr and text messages I have seen do appear to be authentic. They use Sanderson’s real cell phone number. Sources confirm having been told about the messages at the time by their friends who received them. And one man I interviewed said he met Sanderson at his farm in Kenton.”
In his alleged Grindr profile, Sanderson reportedly calls himself “Brian” and describes himself as being in an “open relationship.” He has reportedly sent images of his naked torso and genitals — photos which he claims were faked with images from his Facebook. He has allegedly asked men to contact him at a phone number connected to his winery.