The top editor at the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and other gossip magazines has been accused by former staffers of sexual misconduct, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Based on interviews with at least a dozen employees and former staffers, the wire service reported that Dylan Howard, now chief content officer of Enquirer parent company American Media, routinely spoke about his sexual escapades in the newsroom and forced employees to watch porn when overseeing the company’s L.A. office.
Former staffers in the company’s L.A. office said that Howard called himself “Dildo” and also discussed female employees’ sex lives in front of others.
According to the A.P., Howard stepped down from the L.A. office in 2012 after two employees filed claims about his behavior in the workplace and the company hired an outside consultant to conduct an internal investigation.
Cam Stracher, a lawyer for American Media, told the AP the inquiry found no serious wrongdoing that would justify disciplinary action or firing.
One year later, Howard was rehired and promoted to a new, loftier position in American Media’s New York office, the wire service wrote.
A spokesperson for American Media was not immediately available for comment, but Howard told the AP the claims of ex-employees were “baseless.”
The Enquirer is the flagship tabloid of David Pecker’s American Media, an increasingly influential publisher with close ties to President Donald Trump.
In March, Jann Wenner announced the sale of Us Weekly — which his Wenner Media had owned since 1985 — to Pecker’s American Media for a reported $100 million. The glossly weekly had 1.9 million paid copies per week and an online presence of more than 22 million visitors per month.
More recently, American Media has been floated as a potential buyer of Time Magazine after Meredith Corporation last week announced plans to buy the magazine’s parent company, Time Inc.