A former Fox News employee accused a top producer for the host Tucker Carlson of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed Monday.
The accuser, Andrew Delancey, who previously worked as a producer for a Fox News affiliate service, said in the complaint that Justin Wells, formerly the senior executive producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” assaulted him in 2008 after promising to help advance his career.
A summons was first filed in New York State court on Nov. 22, just before the deadline under the state’s Adult Survivors Act, which provided a one-time window for people to file civil lawsuits for assaults that may have happened years or even decades ago. The full complaint was made public on Monday, when it was moved to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In addition to Mr. Wells, the suit names Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corporation, as defendants.
Fox News fired Mr. Wells alongside Mr. Carlson in April in the wake of the network’s blockbuster $787.5 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Mr. Wells now works for Mr. Carlson on his show on the social media platform X.
A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer for Mr. Wells, called the lawsuit “meritless.”
“Mr. Wells denies the allegations unequivocally, and will contest them vigorously,” Ms. Dhillon said in a statement. “This is yet another attempt by a law firm with a history of suing Fox and its former employees to cash in on frivolous allegations.”
In a statement, Mr. Carlson said: “As a general matter, if you believe you’ve been a victim of a sex crime, you have a moral obligation to alert police, so it doesn’t happen to someone else. If you wait 15 years to cash in with a civil suit, no one should take you seriously. I certainly don’t.”
Lawyers for Mr. Delancey declined to comment beyond the complaint. The complaint does not specify any damages.
The lawsuit said that after Mr. Delancey moved to New York City in 2008 for his job at Fox, Mr. Wells began “showering Mr. Delancey with gifts” and told him that he could help him “learn the ropes.” At the time, Mr. Wells was a field producer for the host Greta Van Susteren.
The men met in person for the first time outside Mr. Wells’s apartment building, the complaint said, and Mr. Wells insisted that they have a drink in his apartment before walking to a bar. In the apartment and on the roof of the building, the complaint said, Mr. Wells grabbed Mr. Delancey’s genitals and tried to kiss him.
The lawsuit said that Mr. Delancey’s direct supervisor had warned him not to go to human resources with any complaints, and that Mr. Wells had implied he could hinder Mr. Delancey’s career.
“Following Wells’s threats, Mr. Delancey found his career progression at Fox to be obviously halted, a departure from the promised career advancements and warm welcome that he had received when he arrived at Fox,” the complaint said. “As a result, Mr. Delancey returned to his position at the local Fox station in Tampa.”
In 2017, amid the #MeToo movement, Mr. Delancey posted on Facebook about his experience, though without naming Mr. Wells. One former co-worker contacted him, the complaint said, saying she remembered him telling her about the events.
Mr. Wells also reached out to Mr. Delancey on Facebook and said: “Hey. Saw your post. I’m sorry that happened to you. Who was it?” Mr. Delancey didn’t respond, according to the complaint.