Former Fox News Employee Files Lawsuit Against Tucker Carlson Producer for Sexual Assault
In a lawsuit filed on Monday, a former Fox News employee accused Justin Wells, the former senior executive producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” of sexual assault. The accuser, Andrew Delancey, who previously worked as a producer for a Fox News affiliate service, claimed that Wells assaulted him in 2008 after promising to help advance his career.
The lawsuit was filed just before the deadline under New York State’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows individuals to file civil lawsuits for assaults that may have occurred years or even decades ago. Initially filed in New York State court, the full complaint was made public on Monday when it was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corporation, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Justin Wells was fired by Fox News, along with Tucker Carlson, in April following the network’s $787.5 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Wells currently works for Carlson on his show on the social media platform X. Fox News has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer for Justin Wells, dismissed the lawsuit as “meritless” and accused the law firm representing Delancey of attempting to cash in on frivolous allegations. In response, Tucker Carlson stated that if someone believes they have been a victim of a sex crime, they have a moral obligation to alert the police immediately. He also expressed skepticism towards the timing of the lawsuit, emphasizing the importance of timely reporting.
According to the lawsuit, after Delancey moved to New York City in 2008 for his job at Fox, Wells began showering him with gifts and promising to help him “learn the ropes.” The first in-person meeting between the two took place outside Wells’s apartment building, where Wells insisted they have a drink before going to a bar. In the apartment and on the building’s roof, Wells allegedly groped Delancey and attempted to kiss him.
The lawsuit also states that Delancey’s direct supervisor warned him against going to human resources with any complaints, and Wells implied that he could hinder Delancey’s career. As a result, Delancey felt his career progression at Fox was halted and decided to return to his previous position at a local Fox station in Tampa.
In 2017, during the #MeToo movement, Delancey posted on Facebook about his experience without naming Wells. Following the post, a former co-worker contacted him, stating that she remembered him telling her about the events. Wells also reached out to Delancey on Facebook, expressing sympathy and asking who the perpetrator was, to which Delancey did not respond.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. As the case unfolds, it remains to be seen how it will impact the reputation of Fox News and Tucker Carlson, as well as the outcome of the legal proceedings involving Justin Wells and Andrew Delancey.
Original Story at www.nytimes.com – 2023-12-05 00:50:40