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Tucker Carlson’s former top producer at Fox News accused of sexual assault

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Tucker Carlson’s top producer, who left Fox News along with the far-right host to work on his X show, is accused of sexually assaulting a former colleague in an alleged incident that occurred more than a decade ago.

Andrew Delancey, a former Fox News employee, filed a lawsuit against Justin Wells, the former executive producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” accusing him of sexual assault and harassment in 2008 when Delancey moved to New York for a job with Fox News’ affiliate video service.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in New York State court before a deadline set under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, also names Fox News and its parent company Fox Corporation as defendants. The law gave survivors a one-year window to bring claims against abusers, setting aside the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits.

In the lawsuit, Delancey alleges that he was befriended by Wells who told Delancey he could help him “learn the ropes” of the right-wing cable network. At the time Wells was a producer for Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show. The two men met for the first time at Wells’ apartment where Delancey said he was “aggressively pushed” on to Wells’ bed and Wells “violently forced his tongue” into Delancey’s mouth, according to the suit.

Delancey said he yelled “no” and pushed Wells off him. Delancey also alleged that Wells assaulted him again soon after the initial incident in the apartment building’s stairs before he managed to leave.

Delancey said in the lawsuit that he was “warned” against going to Fox’s human resources to report the assault and accused Wells of hindering his career advancements because he “did not give in to Wells’s sexual demands.”

“Without a safe avenue to complain, Mr. Delancey was forced to encounter his harasser in the workplace throughout his time at Fox,” the complaint stated.

“Following Wells’s threats, Mr. Delancey found his career progression at Fox to
be obviously halted, a departure from the promised career advancements and warm welcome that he had received when he arrived at Fox,” according to the lawsuit. Delancey returned to his job at a Fox affiliate in Tampa.

In a statement to CNN, Delancey’s lawyer Alfredo Pelicci said that Delancey “will no longer be intimidated by Justin Wells or Fox” and the law firm is “committed to holding Mr. Wells and Fox accountable for their unlawful and abhorrent actions.”

The lawsuit does not specify damages.

In a statement, Wells’ lawyer Harmeet Dhillon said of Delancey’s lawsuit that “this meritless legal action was filed 15 years after the alleged incident and mere days before the extended statute of limitations would have run.”

Wells “denies the allegations unequivocally, and will contest them vigorously,” Dhillon said. “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.”

“As a general matter, if you believe you’ve been the victim of a sex crime, you have a moral obligation to alert police, so it doesn’t happen to someone else,” Tucker Carlson said in a statement to CNN. “If a man waits 15 years to cash in with a civil suit, no one should take him seriously. I certainly don’t.”

In response, Pelicci said that Carlson’s statements are a “classic example of the tactics that people with power and influence use to insulate themselves from accountability and silence victims.”

Fox News didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The right-wing network has been rife with lawsuits, including most recently from former producer Abby Grossberg, who said the network fostered a deeply misogynist workplace. Perhaps the most high-profile results of sexual harassment lawsuits at Fox News were CEO Rogers Ailes resigning in 2016 and Bill O’Reilly being forced out in 2017 amid a cloud of harassment allegations against them both.

Fox fired Carlson in April and canceled his program during the fallout from the $787 million lawsuit settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems.

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