Fox News has severed ties with longtime legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano after a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment by Napolitano was filed against the conservative network on Monday by a male employee.
John Fawcett, 27, alleges Napolitano sexually harassed him and “numerous young male employees” during his tenure at Fox News.
According to the court filing, Fawcett encountered Napolitano in an elevator at Fox News headquarters in Manhattan in late September or early October in 2019.
Fawcett says that although the two men had never met, Napolitano stood “awkwardly close to the Plaintiff, started stroking his arm” and asked who he worked for. At the time, Fawcett worked for Lou Dobbs.
After inquiring if Fawcett was looking for a new job, Napolitano mentioned a maple syrup farm he owed in New Jersey. As he invited Fawcett to visit the farm sometime, the former judge reportedly said in a suggestive manner, “You see these hands? They look clean, but they get real dirty.”
Napolitano also extended an invitation to “visit his Manhattan apartment during the week.”
Following the elevator ride, Fawcett says he shared the story with co-workers who “immediately started laughing” saying it was “common knowledge that Napolitano sexually harassed young men at the network.
Fawcett says he reported the misconduct to Fox’s Human Resources department, but Fox took no action, allowing Napolitano to continue appearing on Fox News programs.
Fox News Producer Calls Network’s ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ for Sexual Misconduct a ‘Fraud,’ Claiming Judge Napolitano Harassed Him and ‘Numerous Young Male Employees’https://t.co/dADwc4tFfx
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) August 2, 2021
The lawsuit mentions previous allegations from other young men regarding Napolitano.
Last fall, Napolitano was accused of sexual misconduct by a South Carolina resident, Charles Corbishley, who alleged the judge forced him to perform oral sex on him in Hackensack, N.J., in the late 1980s when he was a criminal defendant in the judge’s court. According to Corbishley, Napolitano “offered him a more lenient sentence in exchange for oral sex.”
Additionally, a New Jersey man who frequently waited on Napolitano at a restaurant filed a lawsuit last September alleging the judge sexually assaulted him between 2014 and 2017. James Kruzelnick alleged the judge “used the promise of legal advice to pressure him into performing sex acts.
At the time, Napolitano’s attorney denied the allegations.
If you think this guy would grope you in an elevator, according to new accusations, you'd be right. Fox News analyst Judge Napolitano is being accused of sexually harassing several young men. Longtime Fox viewers are distraught because they just found out gay men could be judges. pic.twitter.com/yMxjkABs8m
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 3, 2021
Fawcett’s lawsuit claims that even after those suits were filed Fox News took no action against Napolitano.
Now an associate producer on Larry Kudlow’s Fox Business show, Fawcett also alleges that Kudlow has repeatedly made racist and sexist remarks during staff meetings. The lawsuit alleges Kudlow of “going so far as to block an appearance by Congressman Byron Donalds because the Congressman is Black.”
Napolitano hasn’t responded to the lawsuit publicly. A Fox News spokesman issued this statement:
“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 network and Judge Napolitano have since parted ways. We take all allegations of misconduct seriously, are committed to providing a safe, transparent, and collaborative workplace environment for all our employees and took immediate, appropriate action.”
The statement went on to call the additional allegations of racist and sexist statements “completely baseless.”
Napolitano sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995. He joined Fox News in 1998. It’s unclear if the former judge has ever publicly come out.