Fired Fox News exec allegedly ‘sexually harassed and stalked’ a woman: report

Fox News fired executive John Finley last week after determining that he violated the company’s conduct standards, and more details are coming out about his alleged behavior.

“Fox News Media and John Finley have parted ways after an independent investigation concluded that he had violated certain standards of business conduct,” the network said in a statement.

Finley was executive vice president of development when he was canned and had been at Fox News for more than 20 years — in addition to once being executive producer for Sean Hannity, he also launched the streaming service Fox Nation.

According to Mediaite, which cited more than one source, Finley “was ousted after a woman alleged he sexually harassed and stalked her.”

More from the media outlet:

Sources said the woman was not an employee of Fox but worked on projects with Fox Nation, the streaming service which was previously overseen by Finley, before bringing her claims formally to Fox. The network hired a prestigious outside law firm to investigate, and ultimately reached an undisclosed settlement with the woman. Mediaite knows her identity but is not disclosing it.

A source familiar with the woman’s claims alleged that Finley “stalked her relentlessly and would not stop texting her.” The woman “kept rebuffing him,” the source said, but he pursued “a relentless pattern of sexual harassment and quid pro quo. I can get you this job if you — incredible opportunities. If she went into New York and didn’t see him? Temper tantrums.”

Another source with knowledge of the findings of the investigation said he was not fired for sexual harassment, but for violating Fox’s standards of business conduct. Among the standards that were breached included conflict of interest, improper use of his position to benefit someone over whom he had influence and business ethics, the source said.


Evidently, interoffice romances were a common thing for Finley, according to multiple sources. One such relationship reportedly resulted in the executive marrying a network staffer — the marriage would ultimately end in divorce.

Mediaite cited a former Fox News employee who claimed Finley often made promises of “big show promotions” to young female staffers. The source said he would promise to make the woman a “Fox News star” but insisted he had “little to no power to actually do so.”

“Mr. Finley wants us to convey that he vigorously denies all of the allegations that were contained in the text that you sent, and this is an attempt to defame Mr. Finley and that he intends to pursue all of his legal remedies at this time,” Finley’s attorney, Erin Kormann, told Mediaite.

Finley allegedly established a pattern in his pursuits, according to two sources.

“I noticed that there’s a tendency that all the women tend to get giant pearl earrings from him,” the source told the media outlet. “It was our big code like, Oh, she must be getting those same pearl earrings from John. She got promoted with no experience. She’s blonde. Looks like she came out of a sorority.”

“He buys all the girls the same gifts,” the source added. “It was like he was having a f**k-off.”

A high-level network insider critical of the HR department for a relaxed attitude towards misconduct during the Roger Ailes era said of Finley, “The guy had nine lives at Fox. This was 15.”


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