Another sexual harassment scandal is unfolding from within the media, with National Enquirer and US Weekly editor Dylan Howard accused of improper behavior in the workplace from a number of former employees. Dylan Howard currently works in New York City as the chief content officer of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, US Weekly, Star, RadarOnline and other gossip publications/websites, but these allegations came from years earlier when he was running the same company's Los Angeles office, where his self-proclaimed nickname was "Dildo" and where he openly talked about his sex partners at the office, along with the sex lives of female co-workers, according to a new report.
His sexual misconduct behavior lead to an internal review conducted by an outside consultant, but former employees revealed that he quit the company and stopped working from the L.A. office before the report had even been completed. A year later, American Media re-hired him with a promotion that brought him to the company's main offices in New York City. The Associated Press spoke with 12 former employees of American Media who shed new light on these claims of harassment, but the AP also reports that they are not aware of any new sexual harassment claims since he was re-hired and brought to the New York office.
Cam Stracher, a lawyer for American Media, confirmed that an outside investigator had been brought in to investigate two separate claims of sexual harassment. One employee claimed that Howard wanted to create a Facebook page for a female employee's vagina, but Stracher stated that Howard claims that never happened. Here's what Stracher said in a statement about about the investigation by the outside consultant.
"It was determined that there was some what you would call as horsing around outside the office, going to bars and things that are not uncommon in the media business, but none of it rose to the level of harassment that would require termination."
American Media's John Hammond released a similar statement, adding that there was "no direct support" for the allegations of harassment. Of the 12 former employees that the Associated Press spoke with, only a handful would reveal their identities, since many couldn't speak publicly because of non-disclosure agreements they had signed as part of severance packages. One employee that did reveal her identity is Maxine "Max" Page, a former senior editor at RadarOnline, who said that she complained to human resources about Dylan Howard's behavior on behalf of two other employees. Here's what Maxine Page had to say in a brief statement.
"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."
Another former senior editor who would not be named stated that during an editorial meeting, Dylan Howard wrongly claimed that she had sex with a source, in exchange for information, which Howard praised, telling her, "do what you need" to get a story. She added that he encouraged reporters to "sleep with people for information" while another reporter, Liz Crokin, said Howard asked her if she was going to be "walking the streets" after work, during a day where she wore heels to the office. Both Crokin and Page were laid off during waves of downsizing, and they, among others, decided to come forward when emails were leaked that revealed Dylan Howard had been working with Harvey Weinstein to discredit the victims of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault. The emails showed Howard dispatched a reporter to find out derogatory information on an actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, and then shared that information with the producer, although the story was never published. You can check out the Associated Press for their full report.