The Fox News legal analyst who told Sean Hannity that women regularly lie about sexual harassment and that actual victims of predators are rare has stepped down from management at her law firm following the controversy over her comments.
Mercedes Colwin, an employment lawyer who specializes in defending corporate executives accused of harassment, will no longer serve as the managing partner of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani’s New York office, according to a report on the American Lawyer. Colwin appeared on Hannity’s show last week to discuss the Washington Post’s report that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had dated teenagers and allegedly molested a 14-year-old girl. Colwin, who has been a Fox analyst since 2005, told the host that women “definitely” make up sexual harassment claims in order to milk money from corporations. When Hannity tried to hedge by saying that “there are women who are victims of predators,” Colwin responded that they were “very few and far between.”
Colwin attempted to clarify those comments after I contacted her for a story last week, claiming that she in no way meant to “trivialize or minimize the impact of sexual harassment on any victims.” On Twitter, she further explained that she only meant real victims were “few and far between” in “the context of civil cases of sexual harassment that I’ve handled as an attorney and as a judge.” (According to her firm bio, Colwin served as an administrative law judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights.)
Nonetheless, the appearance seems to have caused trouble at Gordon & Rees, which is one of the country’s largest law firms by headcount and where Colwin’s role likely carried some decision-making power. Managing Partner Don Cominos sent an email condemning Colwin’s comments after I reached out:
[Gordon & Rees] in no way endorses or agrees with any statements which could even remotely be interpreted as minimizing or trivializing the seriousness and gravity of sexual harassment or similarly predatory behaviors, and we renounce them in the strongest possible terms –in fact, contrary to what may have been inferred from what was said during the telecast, the sad reality is that the number of women who likely have not been exposed to such repugnant conduct over the course of their personal or professional lives is, unfortunately, few and far between.
Colwin will still be a partner at Gordon & Rees, where she will presumably continue to make money defending accused predators.