Just when you think you know someone…
On Thursday, it was revealed that E! News‘ Ken Baker has been accused of sexual harassment by two employees. Per reports, one former E! News staffer claims that back in 2012 Baker called her into his dimly lit office and asked her to sit on his lap. Another alleged victim has accused Ken of kissing her without her consent when she was only an intern in 2011.
The same woman said the industry vet also propositioned her for sex countless times over the years and even asked to gift her with “a Tiffany dildo with ├óΓé¼╦£Ken Baker’ engraved on the shaft.” Ewwww.
The entertainment newsman has since addressed the allegations as he released the following statement to The Wrap:
“I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache. I take them very seriously. I care deeply for people’s feelings and sincerely live in a way that treats people with dignity and respect.”
Well, this isn’t necessarily a denial or an apology!
It’s said the ex-intern’s account of what went down with Baker has been supported by the former employee and a career coach, who listened to the victim complain about Ken’s texts years ago.
Understandably, the coach was “furious” when she saw the salacious texts on the accuser’s phone. She shared:
“I wanted to report that day, but I had to respect her wishes. She did not want me to do anything. She said I’ll handle it. I tried to convince her. I really did.”
Although it’s believed that Baker didn’t threaten any of the women, the former intern worried that if she came forward she’d be blacklisted. Apparently, the 47-year-old sent sexual texts to the woman for four-plus years after the internship concluded. Eventually, the unnamed victim ordered Baker to stop it with the texts. In response to the demand, Ken supposedly apologized and arranged for the woman to meet with a casting director.
The E! Network has been alerted to the allegations as they released their own statement on the matter. The network noted:
“E! has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity. We take all complaints of misconduct seriously, and thoroughly investigate all allegations of harassment.”
This isn’t the first time Baker’s been accused of being inappropriate with an employee. Back in 2007, when Ken was the West Coast bureau chief of Us Weekly, a lawsuit claimed he hired his children’s nanny as a reporter and texted the said female about wanting have sex with her and noted that he wanted to “see her pregnant with pigtails.” Ugh.
The ex-E! staffer who shared the “lap” story relayed that Ken would often make inappropriate comments and/or touch her in uncomfortable ways. She explained:
“He makes physical comments like, ├óΓé¼╦£That’s a really cute outfit’ or ├óΓé¼╦£That’s a really tight shirt.’ ├óΓé¼┬ª He would put his hand on my waist and leave it there too long. I almost feel like it’s a power trip. It’s like, ├óΓé¼╦£I can do these things.'”
Tsk, tsk. The unwanted attention escalated in 2012 when Ken asked the accuser to come into his office to look at a script. According to the woman, Ken made it difficult for her to look at the computer screen and eventually invited her to sit on his lap. The woman realized he was serious after he “pushed back in his chair a little bit.”
As for the intern, she first met Ken in an elevator in 2011. The woman would meet in Ken’s office regularly in the hopes of getting career advice, but Baker would always turn the conversations from professional topics to sexual ones. The victim recalled:
“I thought he would be more of a mentor. He was telling me about how his marriage was failing and about his kids.”
The former pro athlete attempted to make a move after one of these office meetings. At first, Ken went in for just a hug, but then:
“He kind of walked me to the door, gave me a hug and tried to pull one on me and managed to land it. He wanted a long kiss but it was more of a peck├óΓé¼┬ª I was like, ├óΓé¼╦£Whoa, get the fuck off.'”
Ick. Although the intern is known for her crass sense of humor, she was never comfortable with the sexual elements of her conversations with Ken. She added:
“There was lots of text messaging. He would always twist it. Always make it sexual.”
How awful. We couldn’t be more disappointed in Ken, especially since he’s been doing coverage on Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual misconduct.
Can y’all say HYPOCRITE?? Smh.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN.]