National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard accused of sexual harassment and we can't believe the irony
In a case of cruel irony, National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard, who is known to report on sexual harassment, has been accused of the same.
In yet another scandal added to the growing wave of sexual misconduct claims in the West, Dylan Howard has become the latest person to join the long list of people who have been accused of sexual misconduct. The Chief Content Officer of American Media Inc. was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple people.
Some of his former employees told Associated Press in very revealing interviews that he used to make them listen to pornographic audio as well as watch pornographic material. He would also openly describe his sexual partners and discuss the sex lives of female employees.
Howard used to run the Los Angeles office of American Media Inc., which is the parent company behind publications like Radar Online, Us Weekly, and National Enquirer. His first signs of sexual misconduct were reported at this office.
Howard used to refer to himself as "Dildo" in the office, as was reported by men and women who work there. His weird behavior eventually led to an internal inquiry in 2012 where he was investigated by an outside consultant. He stopped working out of the Los Angeles office shortly after this inquiry.
He quit, but strangely, a year later, the company hired him back with a promotion and he started working out of the company's main office in New York. What happened there? How did a man who was accused, by multiple employees, of inappropriate behavior, land a promotion and get to sit at the main office?
12 former employees of Howard who knew about the investigation spoke to Associated Press. They didn't know everything about the investigation but they confirmed that certain details were true. The outside consultant also confirmed with AP that he made a report. So why was it covered up?
When Howard spoke toAP, he said the claims were "baseless".
A lawyer for American Media told AP that there definitely was a report made by an outside consultant based on the claims by two employees.
Cam Stracher, the lawyer, said that the investigation found nothing wrong with Howard's behavior. He confirmed that one employee had complained that Howard has wanted to create a Facebook account for her vagina. According to Stacher, though, Howard said that had never happened.
"It was determined that there was some, what you would call, horsing around outside the office, going to bars and things that are not uncommon in the media business," Stracher told AP, "but none of it rose to the level of harassment that would require termination."
News of Howard's sexual misconduct broke on December 5 and this is when actor Terry Crews slammed Howard on Twitter.
The same guy who runs @radar_online and @NatEnquirer who threatened me with the false prostitute story 1 day after my @GMA interview now accused of SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.— terrycrews (@terrycrews) December 5, 2017
ABUSERS PROTECT ABUSERS. https://t.co/7RMw26sz9w
Crews revealed on Good Morning America that he was sexually assaulted by Hollywood agent Adam Venit at a party over a year ago. He even filed a lawsuit against the man. Crews have claimed that Howard tried to intimidate him after he shared his story on Good Morning America.
AMI spokesperson Jon Hammond said that the two employees who complained against Howard were "disgruntled".
"The investigation described an environment where employees mixed socially outside the office — sometimes at bars — but found no direct support for the allegations of harassment made by the two complainants," Hammond said in an email to AP.
The former employees spoke to AP only under the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements and some of these were part of severance packages.
Only two former employees agreed to be publicly identified in the case against Howard. One was a senior manager and the other was a reporter in the LA office.
Maxine 'Max' Page, former senior editor for Radar Online told AP, "The behavior that Dylan displayed and the way he was and the way the company dealt with it — I just think that it has to be made public because it's completely unacceptable." She complained to HR on behalf of two former reporters.
Liz Crokin, a former reporter, told AP that she was also harassed by Howard. He asked her whether she was "going to be walking the streets tonight" when she wore heels to work one day. AMI laid off many employees due to series of downsizing. Many of the ones who spoke to AP, including Page and Crokin, fell victim to this. Many others left the company by choice.
American Media has asked existing employees on a regular basis to sign nondisclosure agreements. These NDAs prevent the employees from saying anything against another employee in public and also from disclosing confidential information.
When The New Yorker and other publications published emails recently showing Howard working with Harvey Weinstein to undermine allegations of sexual misconduct by the latter, many former employees came forward with stories about Howard's similar behavior.
The emails showed that Howard had sent a reporter to find derogatory information about actress Rose McGowan, who had accused Weinstein of rape. According to Howard, he pursued the information with due diligence before he got into a business relationship with Weinstein.
Howard came to the US in 2009 after being fired from an Australian sports channel and being investigated by police for the suspicious way in which he obtained athlete medical records. Australian broadcaster Craig Hutchison scooped Howard up to go report for CrocMedia in the US.
In a podcast that aired recently, Hutchison said he quickly parted with Howard under rocky circumstances. "His methods make me uncomfortable, that's probably the best way to put it," Hutchison said. Howard then began working for American Media Inc. in Los Angeles.
According to AP, during Howard's time at AMI, he constantly blurred the lines between his role as a manager and his personal life. He would throw parties in Las Vegas and in Malibu, invite female reporters to accompany him in the evenings and regularly discuss his late-night partying in the newsroom.
In January 2012, Howard invited a dozen employees to Las Vegas for an all-expenses-paid, three-day party he called "Dildo's Dirty 30," according to a copy of the invitation AP managed to get a hold of. Howard was going to celebrate his 30th birthday with a bang apparently.
A week after this, ex-employees said that they were called for interviews by the consultant writing the report and by HR.
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