The New Yorker fired Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza on Monday, due to allegations that Lizza had participated in “improper sexual conduct.”
“The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a spokeswoman for the magazine said in a statement. We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.”
CNN, where Lizza has appeared as an on-air contributor since 2012, reacted to The New Yorker’s decision by pulling Lizza off the air. A spokesperson said on Monday that the network had “just learned of the New Yorker’s decision. Ryan Lizza will not appear on CNN while we look into this matter.”
Lizza, however, rejects The New Yorker’s depiction of events, and declared in a statement to the Politico that the relationship in question was “respectful.”
“I am dismayed that The New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate. The New Yorker was unable to cite any company policy that was violated. I am sorry to my friends, workplace colleagues, and loved ones for any embarrassment this episode may have caused.”
Lizza continued, “I love the New Yorker, my home for the last decade, and I have the highest regard for the people who work there. But this decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake.”
Despite Lizza’s declaration that the relationship was “respectful,” and that The New Yorker could not “cite any company policy that was violated.” Douglas Wigdor, attorney for the woman accusing Lizza of sexual misconduct, claims that ” in no way did Mr. Lizza’s misconduct constitute a ‘respectful relationship’ as he has now tried to characterize it.”
Mr. Wigdor, who, according to the New York Times has filed 11 lawsuits against Fox News this year for sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and defamation – made it clear that his client intended to see Lizza “held accountable.”
“Our client reported Mr. Lizza’s actions to ensure that he would be held accountable and in the hope that by coming forward she would help other potential victims.”
Mr. Wigdor’s client has chosen to remain anonymous.
Lizza, most notably, was the reporter who published the details of a phone call that he had with Anthony Scaramucci, who had recently been named White House communications director. That conversation, recorded in late July, amounted to an expletive-laced screed wherein Scaramucci ripped several prominent White House officials by name, including then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
The public release of that outburst led to Scaramucci’s removal as White House communications director.
In addition to his duties at The New Yorker and CNN, Lizza served as an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University. While classes have already finished for this semester, Georgetown said that “Mr. Lizza will not be teaching any classes next semester.”