No one at Fox News is safe from sexual harassment accusations.
The Sean Hannity Show host was recently accused of sexual harassment by former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel, who claimed the political pundit wanted to mix business with pleasure when they appeared together for one of his programs.
Speaking on the Pat Campbell Show on Friday, Schlussel claimed Hannity invited her to his hotel room twice — and when she rejected him, she was never asked back on the show.
Schlussel alleged the “awkward” exchange started after Hannity invited her to one of his book signings, where he asked if she wanted to “come back with me to my hotel.”
She didn’t take him up on the offer, saying she had “to get ready for the show.” But after the taping, Hannity allegedly pressed her a second time to join him in the hotel room — and that’s when things got a bit ugly. She explained:
“I wasn’t booked on his show again, and he called me and yelled at me. It was made clear to me that I didn’t go back to his hotel with him after. I got a very weird feeling about the whole thing, and I kind of knew I wouldn’t be back on his show.”
Sounds like a page straight from O’Reilly’s slimy playbook! She added:
“This kind of stuff is all over the place at Fox News and anything that has to do with Sean Hannity.”
Of course, this type of behavior at the cable news network is no secret given the litany of sexual harassment lawsuits that have come out against its top dogs.
But just like his fallen brethren, Hannity isn’t going down without a fight. Fox News issued a statement in response to the allegations, saying Schlussel’s claims were “100 percent false and a complete fabrication.”
Hannity even went as far to call his accuser a “serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade,” and threatened to sue her with a “team of some of the finest and toughest lawyers in the country”.
The popular anchor also characterized Schlussel’s comments as part of a “coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views” — which is a bizarre theory, given that the reporter is clearly a conservative herself.
The two conservatives to do, however, have quite the lengthy history. In 2007, Schlussel accused Hannity of plagiarizing one of her columns. Three years later, she questioned the practices of the Hannity-linked Freedom Alliance charity.
But now, it looks like the threat of legal action has effectively made Schlussel walk back on her claims.
In a Monday interview with LawNewz, the 48-year-old journalist said she doesn’t think her experience with Hannity constitutes as sexual harassment. Though she does stand by her description of what went down, adding:
“He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show after he and his executive producer Bill Shine treated me horribly.”
We might never know exactly what happened. But if we’ve learned anything from these accusations, it’s to not be surprised when a lot more women start to speak out.
Do YOU think this accusation will unravel a string of scandals for Hannity?
[Image via Fox News.]