Debbie Schlussel, the woman who accused Sean Hannity of sexual harassment, has clarified her allegations. The former Fox News guest says that Hannity didn’t harass her, but was just creepy! Confused? We have five important facts about the controversy you need to know.
1. She accused Sean Hannity of sexual harassment
Former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel, 48, initially accused pundit Sean Hannity, 55, of sexual harassment in an April 21 radio interview. Debbie alleged that the Fox News host invited her to his hotel both before and after an interview in Detroit, and allegedly never invited her on his show again when she refused to go.
Debbie said that Hannity invited her to a bookstore before their event, taped sometime in the early 2000s, and said it felt “weird and awkward.” When she was leaving, Debbie alleged that Sean asked her “‘Why don’t you come back with me to my hotel?’ and I said ‘no, I have to get ready for the show.’” When they met before the show, during which she was debating a pro-Palestinian candidate, Hannity alleged said they would “double-team” instead of team-up against the opponent, another phrase that felt “weird” to her. He allegedly yelled at her when she wouldn’t go along with his orders, and allegedly called her to yell at her after the interview — because she reportedly declined to go back to his hotel again.
2. She backtracked and said she wouldn’t call Hannity’s behavior “sexual harassment.”
After her radio interview got widespread media attention, Debbie clarified her comments about Hannity. She told Law Newz that what he allegedly did wasn’t sexual harassment, because the term “has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that.”
“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” she said in her April 24 interview. She also clarified that she meant Hannity had allegedly invited her back to his hotel, but not his hotel room.
3. Sean Hannity is seeking legal action against her
After her first interview aired, Hannity issued a statement saying that Debbie’s accusations were “100% false.” Hannity said that Debbie 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…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.”
4. She’s considering counter-suing Hannity
Debbie called Hannity’s legal threats “laughable” and she is considering counter-suing the Fox News host for calling her a “serial harasser.” “It’s defamatory,” Debbie told Law Newz, “Everything I said was true, and truth is an absolute bar to defamation. He on the other hand has a murky record on truth.”
5. She’s made inflammatory statements about Hannity in the past
Back in 2010, Debbie accused the Freedom Alliance, a veteran charity supported by Hannity, a “huge scam.” She claimed in a blog post that Hannity was personally benefiting from funds donated to Freedom Alliance, and allegedly skimming donations. The charity’s founder and president, Thomas Kilgannon, vehemently denied these claims in a 2010 statement. Hannity has reportedly donated over $1 million to the charity.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by Debbie’s accusations?