Conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel said in a Friday radio interview that Hannity once invited her back to his hotel room after an event at a Detroit bookstore.”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 told host Pat Campbell.
“So I met him there and it was very awkward. He had me stand 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. So 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.’”
In a Monday interview, Schlussel clarified her remarks, saying that she didn’t consider his conduct “sexual harassment” but still considered him “creepy.”
Schlussel, 48, did not provide a date for the alleged conversation.
Schlussel described another alleged incident of Hannity propositioning her after one of his programs, which she says she turned down.
“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.”
Hannity issued his own statement strongly denying the claims, calling them “a complete fabrication” by “a serial harasser.”
“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, 55, 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,” he continued. “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.”
The allegations against Hannity come just days after Fox News cut ties with long-time host Bill O’Reilly earlier this week in the wake of reports of sexual harassment charges and settlements that had led 90 advertisers to leave his program.
It was a stunning development given O’Reilly’s long career at Fox, where he had been the network’s biggest star for 20 years.
Former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned last year amid sexual harassment allegations.
Hannity also said Schlussel’s claims are part of a “coordinated effort afoot to silence those with conservative views.”
“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,” he said.
“I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.”