Everything We Know About Andrew Napolitano's Departure From Fox News

Fox News personality Judge Andrew Napolitano has been plagued by stunning accusations of sexual assault for several years. 

Stories first surfaced in late 2020 that the popular television star was being sued by a man he allegedly assaulted back in the 1980s while presiding over an arson case. Napolitano strongly refuted the claims in a statement to The Daily Beast at the time, stating emphatically, "These accusations are completely false. Full stop. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes, at any time, to anyone, for any reason." Fox News reiterated his denial, standing by their employee. 

However, later that same month, the New York Daily News reported a second man had come forward with a lawsuit, alleging the legal analyst coerced him into taking part in a "bizarre sex act" after they met while the complainant, James Kruzelnick, was working as a waiter. Kruzelnick admitted to being "flattered by the fact that Napolitano, a famous television personality, was interested in spending time with him," and although their relationship was consensual at first, things took a dark turn in September 2015 at the Fox News star's home. Now, the network has taken a stand against Napolitano after months of public support.

The judge stands accused of sexual harassment against a colleague

Deadline confirmed that Fox News Media has cut ties with Andrew Napolitano, after an associate producer at the network accused the legal analyst of sexual harassment. The employee in question, John Fawcett, currently works on the Fox Business series "Kudlow" and filed his lawsuit on August 2, 2021. Fox responded in a statement, advising they "immediately investigated the claims and addressed the matter with both parties" upon learning of the issue. As a result, "the network and Judge Napolitano have since parted ways." Fox News added, "We take all allegations of misconduct seriously, are committed to providing a safe, transparent and collaborative workplace environment for all our employees and took immediate, appropriate action."

Fawcett claimed the altercation with Napolitano occurred back in 2019, when he first started work as an entry-level production assistant. The two crossed paths in an elevator, where the popular host allegedly made inappropriate comments and also stroked Fawcett's arm. However, when Fawcett shared the disturbing encounter with his colleagues, they laughed in response because, according to the lawsuit, "It was common knowledge that Judge Napolitano sexually harassed young men at Fox News, and it even happened to one of the plaintiff's co-workers." The incident was reportedly dismissed despite Fawcett's attempts to take it higher. 

As part of his lawsuit, Fawcett alleged the network didn't take his claims against Napolitano seriously because they were attempting to cultivate a more tolerant environment and didn't want to be seen as targeting a gay man.

Social media users weighed in on Napolitano's departure

Social media users were quick to comment on Judge Andrew Napolitano's departure from the Fox, and many were divided upon hearing that he was no longer with the network. 

"This is dangerous. A mere accusation will cause the loss of your livelihood now. I had no use for Napolitano as he was a pathetic backstabber IMO, but everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves against the claims of the Cancel Cultists," one Twitter user wroteAnother added, "The revolving sexual harassment door at FOX News! Do they have an HR department that trains these people? It just keeps happening."

Some Twitter users even cried "conspiracy" and called Fox's decision to part ways with Napolitano a set-up because of his outspoken criticism of former President Donald Trump while appearing on the network that praised the former "Apprentice" star's every move (via USA Today). "Smells like a set up. I can hear Trump on the phone pressuring the Murdoch's to can him," one Twitter user alleged. "They've essentially sidelined him since he came out in favor of impeachment. He was forced to broadcast his segments outside, literally on the street."

Napolitano wasn't the only Fox host mentioned in Fawcett's lawsuit

Fox Business host and former top Trump administration official Larry Kudlow was also mentioned in John Fawcett's lawsuit, as Fawcett alleged that the 73-year-old television personality repeatedly made racist and sexist remarks during staff meetings (via NY Daily News), including allegations that Kudlow refused to book U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds for a guest appearance because he did not want "the Black" on his show. 

Additionally, Fawcett alleged that Kudlow made inappropriate comments about wanting a "three-way" with a fellow Fox News anchor, as well as horrific comments about "letting Mexicans in" because "we need more jalapeno pickers."

Some social media users were outraged about the allegations against Kudlow, with one Twitter user writing, "Why are they letting Kudlow do what he's doing? And why does he even have a job in the first place?" Some, however, weren't too surprised to hear about Kudlow's alleged racist and sexist remarks. "I think you can figure anyone close to Trump makes racist and sexist remarks. I think it's required," one Twitter user said, while another wrote, "That's what I was thinking... I'd be surprised if anyone was in Trump's circle that has clean hands."