Tucker Carlson Producer Accused Of Sexual Assault By Former Fox Employee

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A former Fox News employee claims in a new civil lawsuit that Tucker Carlson‘s top producer Justin Wells sexually assaulted him in 2008.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday and cited New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave a one-year window for plaintiffs to file civil sexual abuse claims regardless of the statute of limitations.

Andrew Delancey, former regional producer for affiliate service Fox News Edge, claimed that in 2007, Wells contacted him on Facebook through a Fox employee Facebook group. At the time, Delancey was working at Fox 13 in Tampa Bay, and Wells was a producer at Fox 5 in New York. The next year, Wells encouraged Delancey to move to New York, and Delancey sent him his resume, according to the lawsuit. He eventually landed a job as a producer at the Fox News Edge team, and started in September, 2008.

According to the lawsuit, Wells started “showering” Delancey with gifts, including a large box of Fox News Edge merchandise with personally monogrammed pencils and notepads. Wells was by then working on Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record.

“Wells told Mr. Delancey that he would help him “learn the ropes” and made it clear that Wells had the ear of Fox’s top executives,” the lawsuit claimed. “As a result, Mr. Delancey was under the reasonable impression that he had to stay on Wells’s good side to succeed at Fox.”

According to the lawsuit, Delancey found it difficult to make ends meet in New York on a $45,000 salary, and asked Wells if he knew of any other higher paying positions. Wells arranged for an interview at an NBC station, and indicted that he would put in a “good word” with others at Fox News.

Wells also invited Delancey to meet him and his co-workers at Barracuda Lounge, near Wells’ apartment, according to the suit. When Delancey arrived, Wells invited him up to the apartment for a “pregame” cocktail, the lawsuit claimed. Delancey “knew that Wells was in a relationship and did not believe anything untoward would occur. Moreover, because of Wells’s representations, Mr. Delancey expected other co-workers to arrive. Regrettably, no one else did.”

In the lawsuit, Delancey claimed that when he entered Wells’ studio apartment and Wells fixed him a drink, he then “aggressively pushed” him “onto his bed where he violently forced his tongue” into his mouth. Delancey claimed that Wells then “began unbuttoning and trying to rip off Mr. Delancey’s jeans as the sexual assault progressed. Simultaneously, Wells aggressively grabbed Mr. Delancey’s genitals causing him severe pain.”

After Delancey told him to stop and reminded Wells that he had a boyfriend, Wells invited him to the rooftop of the apartment to show him the view, the suit claimed. Hoping it was an opportunity to get out of the apartment, Delancey then walked up the stairs with Wells, according to the lawsuit. Then, Wells grabbed him from behind and reached around Delancey and stuck his hands down the front of his pants while again trying to unbutton his jeans, the lawsuit claimed.

Delancey said that he then pulled away and that he no longer wanted to go to the Barracuda Lounge. “Wells was clearly annoyed by Mr. Delancey’s continued refusal to submit to Wells’s aggressive sexual assaults,” the lawsuit claimed.

Wells’ attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, did not immediately comment to Deadline, but said in a statement to Mediaite, “This meritless legal action was filed 15 years after the alleged incident and mere days before the extended statute of limitations would have run. Mr. Wells denies the allegations unequivocally, and will contest them vigorously. This is yet another attempt by a law firm with a history of suing Fox and its former employees to cash in on frivolous allegations.”

The lawsuit was filed by Filippatos PLLC. The employment law firm represented a former Fox News producer, Abby Grossberg, who worked on Tucker Carlson Tonight. In June, she settled her lawsuit against the network for $12 million, after claiming harassment based on her gender and Jewish religion. Carlson, Wells and another producer, Alexander McCaskill, also were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also named Fox News and Fox Corp. as defendants. A spokesperson for the network did not have an immediate response. Shortly after Carlson’s show was dropped from Fox, Wells exited the network and now works on the former Fox host’s X/Twitter show.

The lawsuit claimed that his supervisor, Mykel McCarthy, warned him not to report any concerns to Fox’s human resources department and “made him swear not to report any inappropriate conduct that he witnessed during regularly occurring social events with employees.” Delancey shared with another female co-worker what had happened, according to the lawsuit, and she recounted being sexually harassed by Wells.

Delancey also was not offered the job at the NBC station, and the lawsuit claimed that Wells “informed the interviewer not to hire Mr. Delancey and/or took back his recommendation.” Delancey ultimately returned to his position at the Fox station in Tampa.

In 2017, just as the MeToo movement was getting started, Delancey posted about the alleged assault on Facebook but did not name Wells. The lawsuit claimed that Wells messaged him despite having no contact for several years. The message read, “Hey. Saw your post. I’m sorry that happened to you. Who was it?” “Plaintiff was too shocked to respond,” according to the lawsuit.

Delancey is seeking unspecified damages. It noted that the claim was filed in New York state court before the Adult Survivors Act window expired.

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