Speed Reads


Former Fox News guest accuses Sean Hannity of sexual harassment

On the heels of Bill O'Reilly being let go from Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment, another Fox News host, Sean Hannity, is being accused of asking a former network guest to go back to his hotel room with him; after she declined, he allegedly retaliated by never inviting her back to appear on Fox News.

In an interview with Oklahoma radio host Pat Campbell, Debbie Schlussel said that before going on Hannity's show, he invited her to a book signing in Detroit. As she prepared to leave the event, Hannity asked her, "'Why don't you come back with me to my hotel?'" she said. "And I said no, I have to get ready for the show." Before they went on the air, Hannity allegedly said the pair should "double-team" another guest, a phrase Schlussel said she thought was "weird," and when the show started, "Every time I tried to open my mouth and say something, they yelled at me and said obey your host, you can't say anything or else we're gonna shut off your microphone."

Schlussel told Campbell that once the show was over, Hannity again invited her back to his room, and she rejected his advances. He later called her and "yelled at me," she said, and she "got a very weird feeling about the whole thing, and I kind of knew I wouldn't go back on his show. I wasn't booked on a show again." This wasn't that out of the norm for the network, she asserted. "This kind of stuff is all over the place at Fox News and anything that has to do with Sean Hannity."

In a statement to the New York Daily News, Hannity said Schlussel's allegations are "100 percent false and a complete fabrication." He called her a "serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade" and said he will "fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American." Previously, Schlussel has accused Hannity of running a scam charity and plagiarism.

Update, 1:57 p.m.: In an interview with Law Newz on Monday, Schlussel said that while everything she said about her interaction with Hannity in the early 2000s is true, she does not believe that what happened was sexual harassment by any legal definition. "I would never accuse him of that," Schlussel said, adding, "I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity. I thought he was weird and creepy, not someone I liked."

Editor's note: This post originally mischaracterized the nature of Schlussel's relationship to Fox News. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.