The Hill reported this week that Fox News has fired former Judge Andrew Napolitano in response to sexual harassment claims.
The decision came in response to a lawsuit from Fox Business production assistant John Fawcett, who claimed that Napolitano “sexually harassed numerous young male employees during his tenure at Fox News.”
Fawcett said that on one occasion, in 2019, Napolitano stood “awkwardly close” to him while both were in an elevator and began stroking his arm.
The former New Jersey judge is then alleged to have “suggestively” recommended that Fawcett visit his horse farm, a place where Napolitano’s hands “get really dirty.”
Fox News released a statement regarding the matter on Monday, announcing that the media giant and Napolitano “have since parted ways.”
“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,” Fox News’ statement read.
“Fox News takes all allegations of misconduct seriously,” the network continued, stressing that it is “committed to providing a safe, transparent, and collaborative workplace environment for all our employees and took immediate, appropriate action” regarding the allegations against Napolitano.
The Hill noted that this is not the first time Napolitano has been accused of sexual misconduct, as allegations emerged last year over incidents said to have occurred in the 1980s during his time as a New Jersey Superior Court judge, and then later while he was a contributor for Fox News.
According to the Daily Mail, former criminal defendant Charles Corbishley filed a lawsuit claiming that Napolitano demanded oral sex from him in exchange for a lenient sentence in an arson case.
Another suit was subsequently leveled against Napolitano by James Kruzelnick, a waiter who asserts that Napolitano forced him to participate in BDSM-related activities.
The Daily Mail noted that Napolitano’s attorney, Tom Clare, denounced the claims, saying, “These allegations are total fiction, and Judge Napolitano unequivocally denies them.”
The attorney added: “We will defeat these false allegations in court and look forward to exposing this continuing attempt to abuse our court system to smear a highly-respected former public servant.”