You’ve likely heard by now about Michelle Odinet, the Louisiana judge who is facing calls for her resignation after making international headlines for using the N-word on camera while talking about someone who tried breaking into her house.
The video has been circulating on Twitter all week. In it, Odinet, who was elected to the Lafayette City Court in Lafayette, Louisiana last November, can be heard off screen repeatedly using the racial epithet and laughing hysterically.
This is DISGUSTING! Judge Michelle Odinet is captured on video using racial slurs while reviewing home security footage. People's lives are in HER HANDS on a daily basis. This level of hate & racial bias should not be in our courtrooms! She needs to RESIGN! pic.twitter.com/TVny8kcaUZ
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 15, 2021
After the video went viral, she rushed out a statement claiming that having her house burglarized “shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile” and that she was high on a sedative when she made the racist remarks.
“I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it,” the statement continued. “Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives.”
Now, an image of Odinet cozying up to a local antigay activist has found its way onto Reddit.
“Here’s racist bigot Michelle Odinet with Anti-LGBTQ bigot Michael Lunsford,” a Reddit user posted this week, along with a picture of Odinet and Lunsford together.
Lunsford is the executive director of the antigay hate group Citizens for a New Louisiana, a self-proclaimed “local government watchdog group” that opposes things like Pride celebrations and pro-LGBTQ books in public libraries. He also regularly posts anti-LGBTQ sentiment to his Twitter page.
You might have something there… pic.twitter.com/JysSbqBLV6
— Michael Lunsford (@michaellunsford) June 12, 2021
Watch those pronouns! ???? pic.twitter.com/mAUPsvsupd
— Michael Lunsford (@michaellunsford) November 15, 2021
The image of him and Odinet posted to Reddit is actually a screenshot from an interview he conducted with her in October 2020 for his YouTube channel, when she was running for Lafayette City Court judge.
In the video, the two are seen sitting side by side, without masks during the height of COVID, in a cramped office talking about her candidacy.
“I will treat everyone with dignity and respect,” she tells Lunsford, adding that she wants to give each individual “the skills to become a productive member of the community.”
Odinet announced this week that she is taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job. Her lawyer says she feels “humiliated,embarrassed, and sorry for what she has done and the harm she has caused to the community.”
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.