Fox News has fired legal analyst Andrew Napolitano after a male producer accused him of sexual harassment.
John Fawcett works on Larry Kudlow’s show on Fox Business Network and is now suing Fox claiming he was sexually harassed by Napolitano. He said the on-air personality stroked his arm and made suggestive comments to him while they were on an elevator together.
Fawcett also alleges in his lawsuit, that has filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, that “sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and racial discrimination are still tolerated at Fox.”
Napolitano was fired on Monday after the allegations went public, and Fox confirmed he was let go after an internal investigation.
“Upon first learning of John Fawcett’s allegations against Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Media immediately investigated the claims and addressed the matter with both parties,” the networks said in a statement Monday.
“We take all allegations of misconduct seriously, are committed to providing a safe, transparent, and collaborative work environment for all our employees, and took immediate, appropriate action.”
Fawcett, 27, was hired by the network in March 2019. According to his LinkedIn page, prior to working for Fox, he worked as an Assistant Campaign Manager in Congress.
“Even though the two had never met previously, Judge Napolitano stood awkwardly close to the plaintiff, started stroking his arm, and asked who the plaintiff worked for,” the lawsuit reads.
Fawcett alleged that Napolitano asked him if he was looking for a new job. He said they then talked about Dobbs’s horse farm and Napolitano’s maple syrup farm.
“You see these hands? They look clean, but they get really dirty,” Judge Napolitano allegedly said Fawcett in a suggestive manner. Oh my!
He said that Napolitano then invited him to his Manhattan apartment or to his New Jersey farm. Fawcett said he “politely excused himself.”
“When the plaintiff reached his office and told his co-workers about the encounter, they immediately started laughing,” the lawsuit states.
“It was common knowledge that Judge Napolitano sexually harassed young men at Fox News, and it had even happened to one of the plaintiff’s co-workers. The plaintiff did not initially report the incident to human resources, however, because he did not want to jeopardize his career at Fox, but he did tell Mr. Dobbs.”
Fawcett told Dobbs who then reported the allegations to Fox News’s chief human resources officer, Kevin Lord, who allegedly replied cavalierly, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”
Fawcett is alleging that the Fox network did nothing to intervene even though two lawsuits that are similar to his are out there against Napolitano.
He has said executives “will bend over backwards to protect such behavior so long as it is perpetrated by senior management or prominent on-air personalities.”
Fawcett maintains that Napolitano’s reputation for sexually harassing young men has been well-established since 2019, when Fawcett said he started to work for Fox.
Napolitano has claimed that the allegations thrown at him are “pure fiction.”
Fox said the network investigated and “took immediate, appropriate action.” The network said it and Napolitano have ended their relationship.
Fawcett is also complaining about Larry Kudlow whose show he began working for after Fox canceled Dobb’s show. The producer said he heard Kudlow use slurs and make sexually inappropriate remarks “in front of multiple staffers,” including a senior vice president and himself, and there was no recrimination.
Fox treated Fawcett’s other allegations as “nothing more than a desperate attempt at a payday.”
In his lawsuit, Fawcett alleges that Kudlow made inappropriate comments about wanting to have a three-way with a Fox Anchor.
According to court documents, Kudlow’s remark happened during a phone conference with a network vice president.
Fawcett also made allegations against the executive producer of the show, a woman, of discriminating against male staff and attempting to get them replaced with female staff. He alleges the executive producer tried to force him to resign or to be fired.
A “zero tolerance” policy for sexual misconduct preached by Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott is “a fraud,” Fawcett said.
“Sexual harassment, sex discrimination and racial discrimination are still tolerated at Fox, and Ms. Scott and her executive team will bend over backwards to protect such behavior,” the lawsuit reads.
Suzanne Scott was hired back in 2018 to help deal with the aftermath of the #MeToo scandals that took down Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.
The network released a statement on Monday night dismissing Fawcett’s other charges.
“The additional allegations laid out in this claim are completely baseless and nothing more than a desperate attempt at a payday by trying the case in the court of public opinion as the complaint does not meet the standards of the law. We will defend the matter vigorously in court.”
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Author: Rich Welsh
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