Sean Hannity of Fox News. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Sean Hannity of Fox News. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

A “lifelong conservative Republican activist” is the latest woman to accuse a Fox News luminary of unwanted sex-related behavior, but she’s backing off of any allegation of sex harassment.

This time, the target is Sean Hannity — not former Fox fired leader Roger Ailes or top pundit Bill O’Reilly.

Attorney and columnist Debbie Schlussel says Hannity asked her up to his hotel room sometime between 2002 and 2004, but Hannity denies everything and is threatening a lawsuit against Schlussel.

“It’s creepy, inappropriate, made me feel uncomfortable and I didn’t like it,” the New York Daily News quoted her as saying.

But she later said, “Sexual harasssent has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that. I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity.”

“He had some event at a [Detroit] bookstore where he signed his book for people standing in line. He asked me to come meet him at this book signing,” Schlussel said Friday on the Pat Campbell Podcast.

“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.”

Following her refusal, Schlussel said, she was asked back on Hannity’s show only ”maybe once,” despite having previously been promised a regular spot every two weeks, the Daily News said.

“I was blackballed from Fox News,” said Schlussel, now 48. “Was there quid pro quo? You do the math.”

On Monday, The Hill reported that Hannity has vowed to sue Schlussel.

Hannity also issued the following statement:

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.

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.

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.

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. I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.

Selected reactions from both sides:

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