Less than a week later get rid of her role as the chief digital editor of New York PostMichelle Gotthelf filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the newspaper alleging her boss’s editor-in-chief pushed her out after she revealed she had been sexually harassed by Col Allan, the newspaper’s longtime boss newspaper.
In a complaint filed Tuesday by law firm Wigdor LLP, Gotthelf claims that in the fall of 2015, Allan, then PostThe editor-in-chief sexually assaulted her during a dinner meeting and then retaliated against her for turning down his offers.
“When both are alone,” the lawsuit alleges, “Mr. Allan directed the conversation in a sexual direction. He asked Miss Gotthelf questions about her longtime boyfriend, how long they’ve been together (15 years) and whether they still sleep together.” The lawsuit continues: “Mr. Then Allan offered to have sex with Miss Gotthelf, asking: ‘What about you?’ Miss Gotthelf was stunned. But Mr. Allan persisted. ‘We should sleep together.’ Mrs Gotthelf rejected Mr Allan’s unwanted advances, saying, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ Mr. Allan continued to pursue Ms. Gotthelf, saying he slept with another female NY Post employee.
Gotthelf recalls in the lawsuit that Allan was allegedly “even more abusive” after she turned down his invitation. “He refused to make eye contact” with Gotthelf, the suit claimed, “and often killed the stories she supported for no apparent reason.” In one incident, Gotthelf recalled how Allan “extracted a list of stories [she] got ready and yelled at her to ‘go away.’ “
The former digital editor also claims that Allan is more broadly “creating a hostile work environment” for her and other women, often accused of making despicable comments in front of the public. male colleagues. “Mr. Allan refers to women in news stories as ‘skateboarders’ or ‘stupid women,” the complaint states.
During “the culmination of years of sexual harassment and abuse,” Gotthelf said, Allan was subsequently forced to resign in disgrace.
At the same time, she alleges, Post and its owner Rupert Murdoch have defended Allan’s reputation, describing his April 2016 departure as retirement and giving him an “interesting ride”. Gotthelf added that as a result of her complaints about Allan, her job powers and responsibilities eventually diminished, all while her accusations were met with indifference.
Allan has been rehired by Post in 2019. Although she was informed that he was only coming as a “consultant” and that she would not need to report to him, Gotthelf stated that Allan had become “a supervisor on the board.” reality” and will often show her the way.
One such order from Allan, according to Gotthelf, is to “remove” a story about rape allegations against President Donald Trump brought forward by a writer. E. Jean Carroll. (CNN previously reported in 2019 under Allan’s alleged order to remove claims from PostWeb’s.)
Before Post The digital editor went on to allege that the newspaper demoted her when they hired Keith Poole in early 2021 as the new top editor. After Poole was “briefly briefed” by Allan over a period of several weeks, Gotthelf claimed, the new editor-in-chief questioned her about the allegations she had made.
According to Gotthelf, she finally revealed to Poole last November that Allan had suggested sex to her. Two months later, the complaint notes, she was subsequently fired by Poole.
“The New York Post’s illegal treatment of its top female editor after more than twenty years of service is nothing short of appalling. Furthermore, the Post’s decision to leave Col Allan behind after he proposed sex to Ms Gotthelf says a lot about exactly what kind of newsroom News Corp is running,” said Wigdor LLP partner Douglas Wigdor , said in a statement about the lawsuit. “We intend to move forward aggressively with responsible writing and protecting the rights of Mrs. Gotthelf.”
In an additional statement, Gotthelf said that although she was “never meant to be in the news, the truth about what happened to me deserves to be heard.” She added that she hopes “that by speaking out there can be a positive change for other women at Post. ”