In the wake of the fall of Bill O’Reilly, it seemed that another woman believed she could capitalize on the situation and use it to bring down another Fox News host.
On Friday, Debbie Schlussel, gave an interview to an Oklahoma radio show where she accused Sean Hannity of sexual harassment… at least, that’s what everyone thought she was doing.
Here’s what Schlussel told Pat Campbell’s Tulsa radio show:
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“He had some event at a bookstore where he signed his book for people standing in line. He asked me to come meet him at this book signing. So I met him there and it was very awkward. He had me up there with him while he signed books and I felt very weird. These people don’t really know me and they didn’t come for me to sign their books. Then I left to get ready for the show, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come back with me to my hotel?’ and I said no, I have to get ready for the show.”
Schlussel then said that Hannity tried to cajole her into returning to his hotel with him and that after she refused him, he chose to never invite her on his show again.
Needless to say, that accusations shocked and angered Hannity, who chose to respond to her comments in the most forceful way that he could. In a statement to the Daily Beast, Hannity not only denied the allegations he promised to seek legal reparations for the disgusting attack.
“LET ME BE CLEAR THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual ARE 100 percent false and a complete fabrication,” Hannity wrote. “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation.”
“The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with,” Hannity wrote. “This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric.”
He went on to threaten legal action against Schlussel.
“My patience with this individual is over. I have retained a team of some of the finest and toughest lawyers in the country who are now in the process of laying out the legal course of action we will be taking against this individual. In this fiercely divided and vindictive political climate I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.”
Now Schlussel appears to be putting the brakes on the heated back and forth and claiming that she never suggested that Hannity was being sexually inappropriate.
Sure, it sounds like the entire conversation on Campbell’s radio show is ALL ABOUT Hannity sexually harassing her, but Schlussel says that’s not what she meant.
Now, in an interview with LawNewz.com on Monday morning, Schlussel is denying that she was ever sexually harassed by Sean Hannity. While Schlussel stands by her description of the incident, Schlussel told us that she doesn’t believe what happened between the two amounted to sexual harassment by any legal definition.
“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel, an attorney herself, said. Schlussel said the interaction happened in the early 2000’s when Hannity was in Detroit taping a show…
“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” Schlussel said.
LawNewz also reports that Schlussel is supposedly considering a counter-lawsuit:
Schlussel responded to Hannity’s legal threats, telling LawNewz.com she believed they were “laughable,” and that she is also contemplating countersuing him based on his statements on Sunday in which he called her a “serial harasser.”
“It’s defamatory,” Schlussel said, “Everything I said was true, and truth is an absolute bar to defamation. He on the other hand has a murky record on truth.”
Schlussel can pretend now that she wasn’t trying to imply that she was sexually harassed, but anyone who listens to the audio can hear the truth for themselves. In fact, there is no point to the story if Schlussel wasn’t attempting to argue that Hannity is a sexual harasser, just like his former Fox News colleague, Bill O’Reilly.
As to Schlussel’s countersuit, that too is laughable because as LawNewz explains Schlussel has a history of attacking Hannity with baseless claims of corruption and lying only to be proven wrong later.
If Hannity is indeed innocent of any impropriety, I hope that he makes the false-accuser pay for the accusations she has made.