This past Friday, Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel appeared on the “Pat Campbell Show.” She made some damning claims about Fox News host Sean Hannity, which made many think she was accusing him of sexual harassment.
In the wake of the accusations, which captured the attention of media headlines everywhere, Hannity refuted her statements, calling them “100 percent false.”
And now, Schlussel has come out saying Hannity did not sexually assault her, just that he was “creepy” and “not someone I liked,” according to Law Newz.
In Schlussel's initial statement about Hannity, she claimed that after she declined to go to Hannity's hotel room with him, he yelled at her and made sure she never appeared on his show again.
While the two were at a book signing for Hannity in the early 2000s, Schlussel claimed that Hannity asked her:
“Why don't you come back with me to my hotel?”
To which she replied:
“No, I have to get ready for the show.”
Schlussel added, according to the Daily Beast:
"After that, I wasn't booked on his show again. And he called me and yelled at me. It was made clear to me that I didn't go back to his hotel with him after. I got a very weird feeling about the whole thing, and I kind of knew I wouldn't be back on his show.”
Schlussel then stated:
“This kind of stuff is all over the place at Fox News and anything that has to do with Sean Hannity.”
Schlussel then took to Twitter to post these comments:
In the wake of the accusations, Hannity responded to the incriminating allegations, denying everything the Fox contributor said against him.
In a statement released by Fox News, Hannity stated that not only were the allegations completely fabricated, but that Schlussel had been trying to blacken his reputation for years, according to New York Daily News:
"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."
Hannity stated he has hired a team of top lawyers to fight Schlussel:
"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 & 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."
Law Newz reported that Schlussel sought to clarify her original statements:
“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that.”
“He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show after he and his executive producer Bill Shine treated me horribly,” she said on the radio program. Schlussel later clarified that it wasn't his hotel room, but rather his hotel. She told LawNewz.com that she did go on the show following the incident, but after that was “banned from Fox News.”
“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked.”
These injurious statements against Hannity are not the first the Fox News host has endured from Schlussel.
In fact, for years, Schlussel has come after Hannity trying to discredit his name, according to the Huffington Post.
In 2007, she accused Hannity of plagiarizing one of her columns. Then in 2010, Schlussel said the Freedom Alliance charity Hannity worked with was involved in some “questionable practices.”
Neither allegation was ever proved, and according to the Huffington Post, Fox News also provided a statement refuting her allegations against Freedom Alliance.
Update [4/25/17, 2:00 p.m.]: According to an update by LawNewz, Debbie Schlussel contacted them and clarified several points of her story. Not only did she remind the publication that she never used the term “sexual harassment” in the radio interview, but she responded to Hannity's potential lawsuit and insisted that every claim she's made against Hannity is true:
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,” Schussel 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.”