Sean Hannity is the latest Fox News personality facing allegations of inappropriate behavior after he was accused of propositioning a guest on his show.
During a Friday interview with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based radio host Pat Campbell, former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel accused Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room before and after a debate with a pro-Palestinian guest in Detroit. Schlussel said she rejected Hannity’s alleged advances and that she was never invited on his show again.
Schlussel and Hannity were scheduled to speak together at the Detroit show, Schlussel said. But before the show, Hannity allegedly invited her to an event at a nearby bookstore. The Daily Beast was not able to confirm whether the pair ever spoke at such a show.
“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,” Schlussel said on Campbell’s show. “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 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.”
Shortly before the show, Hannity allegedly told Schlussel they would team up against another panelist. But Schlussel told Campbell that the move was a “head-fake” against her.
“Sean came up to me and said we’re gonna double-team (which was a weird phrase to use) this Palestinian guy that I was up against on the show,” Schlussel said. “And then 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.”
After the show, Schlussel claims Hannity made another advance on her. “My dad and my brother were there in the green room,” Schlussel said, claiming that Hannity “tried to get me to go back with him to the hotel after the show.”
Schlussel claimed she rejected the offer a second time, and was not invited on any future Hannity programs.
“After that, I wasn’t booked on his show again. And he called me and yelled at me,” Schlussel said. “I got a very weird feeling about the whole thing, and I kind of knew I wouldn’t be back on his show.”
Sean Hannity released a statement to LawNewz.com strongly denying the allegations:
“LET ME BE CLEAR THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual ARE 100% false and a complete fabrication.
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.
This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric.
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.”
The accuser has a history of making allegations against Hannity. Back in 2010, Schlussel, who Gawker claimed at the time was a “crazy birther blogger,” wrote a blog post claiming that the “Freedom Alliance,” a war veteran charity, which is supported by Hannity, was skimming donations, and was all a “huge scam.”
According to a 2010 letter obtained by LawNewz.com, Thomas Kilgannon, the charity’s founder and president, fired back in a note to donors: “the blog posting accuses our friend Sean Hannity of personally benefiting from Freedom Alliance. This is FALSE. Freedom Alliance has never provided planes, hotels, cars, limos, or anything else to Sean. Sean gets nothing from Freedom Alliance except our gratitude for his personal generosity and for all he has done to help the troops and our organization.” Hannity has reportedly donated more than a million dollars to the charity over the last several years.
On Schlussel’s blog, she has garnered a reputation for making sensational statements, including calling Robin Wiliams “selfish” for committing suicide.