Fox News executive John Finley, fired last week after more than two decades with the network, was pushed out after a woman alleged she was sexually harassed and stalked, according to a Friday report by Mediaite citing sources it did not name.
The network said Finley was fired for violating company standards, but did not clarify what those standards were. “Fox News Media and John Finley have parted ways after an independent investigation concluded that he had violated certain standards of business conduct,” a Fox News spokesperson told TheWrap.
A recent investigation conducted by an outside law firm resulted in Finley being placed on leave from his role as executive vice president of development. He was subsequently fired.
Mediaite reports that a woman who was not an employee of Fox but has worked on projects for Fox Nation, which was helmed by Finley, had reached an undisclosed settlement with the network. The outlet says it knows the identity of the woman, but will not disclose it.
Multiple sources who spoke to Mediaite say Finley displayed a pattern of harassment and consistently pursued romantic relationships with subordinates throughout his tenure with the network. In one case, the relationship resulted in a marriage and subsequent divorce.
Finley had also been the subject of an internal investigation in 2011, but was cleared of wrongdoing at the time. The network has been plagued through the years with sexual harassment claims, including against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes and once-top network host Bill O’Reilly.
“Mr. Finley wants us to convey that he vigorously denies all of the allegations that were contained in the text that you sent,” Erin Kormann, a lawyer for Finley told Mediaite. “This is an attempt to defame Mr. Finley and that he intends to pursue all of his legal remedies at this time.”
Finley has held many high-profile positions throughout his years at Fox News, including executive producer for Sean Hannity. Finley helped develop “The Five,” “Outnumbered” and “Life, Liberty & Levin,” which was just extended to an additional weekend time slot.
CEO Suzanne Scott tapped Finley to launch Fox Nation, the network’s stand-alone streaming service. Finley continued to work on the service even after Jason Klarman was named president of Fox Nation in 2020.