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E! News and its correspondent Ken Baker have decided to part ways, a decision they said was unrelated to a recent investigation into whether Baker sexually harassed two women at the network.
Baker left E!’s airwaves last month after TheWrap reported that the two women had accused him of sexual misconduct. A third woman later said he had touched her inappropriately when they worked together at his previous job at Us Weekly. Baker joined E! News in 2008.
“The investigation into the recent allegations relating to Ken Baker is still ongoing,” an E! spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap on Wednesday night. “However, unrelated to the investigation, the network and Mr. Baker have mutually agreed that he will not be returning to his role on E! News. We will not be commenting further.”
Baker issued a statement to TheWrap in which he said he and E! had agreed to part ways earlier this year, after the release of his new book “The Ken Commandments: My Search for God in Hollywood.” The book came out in mid-September.
Here is the statement:
Earlier this year, shortly after the release of my book “The Ken Commandments,” the E! News team and I sat down and mutually agreed that I would be leaving my role as the network’s Senior Correspondent to allow me time to pursue my writing career. While it may not be a juicy story, the fact is that my decision to depart from and not renew my contract with my beloved network of ten years pre-dated recent reports. To be clear: I was never asked to step down, and I have not been found guilty of anything that’s been alleged. We are living in a truly watershed moment and it has stimulated a vital social dialogue, and my prayer is that healing will soon overtake all the ugliness. I stand with true victims and wish nothing but love and compassion for anyone who has ever been victimized. And while being falsely accused on the web of things you didn’t do is a sad and emotionally difficult experience, I’ll be okay because I’m sure it pales in comparison to the pain and suffering of so many true victims recently in the news. I thank E! for all the great years.
In TheWrap’s initial report on the accusations, on Oct. 28, an ex-E! News employee said Baker had made suggestive comments, touched her uncomfortably and once invited her to sit on his lap. And an ex-intern said he kissed her without consent, texted her to ask for sex for years, and offered to give her “a Tiffany dildo with ‘Ken Baker’ engraved on the shaft.” The ex-intern said much of the texting — including the “Tiffany” text — occurred when she was no longer an intern.
In a subsequent report, a woman who worked with Baker in his previous job, at Us Weekly, told TheWrap Baker had touched her inappropriately and groped her after a 2006 party at the Playboy Mansion.
Baker has previously said that he has “never touched anyone inappropriately — ever. Any suggestion otherwise is pure fiction. The anonymous allegations are simply not true, and, frankly, are heartbreaking to hear.”
Source: the wrap feed
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