Top CNN Producer Resigns Amid Allegations of 'Misconduct Involving Juvenile Victims'
13:04 GMT 30.12.2021 (Updated: 19:56 GMT 18.10.2022)
The network earlier fired another CNN top producer after he was charged with several counts of sexual crimes against minors. The man convinced several parents to allow him to train their underage daughters to "be sexually submissive".
A top CNN producer for Jake Tapper's show "The Lead" has resigned from the network following his arrest on 18 December over allegations of "misconduct involving juvenile victims".
The producer, Rick Saleeby, was earlier exposed by Project Veritas journalists over allegedly fantasising about molesting a minor. He is now facing an investigation by Fairfax County, Virginia police. Law enforcement has so far refused to comment on the matter.
"While we will eventually be transparent about our findings, safeguarding the personal privacy and safety of victims and witnesses as well as maintaining the integrity of our criminal investigation are of paramount importance", the Fairfax County police said.
Saleeby appeared in a Fairfax County court on 28 December. He was confronted there by Project Veritas journalists, but the man made no comments regarding his case.
Project Veritas earlier released text exchanges and a voice recording allegedly featuring Saleeby sharing his sexual fantasies about a minor – specifically one of the daughters of his fiancée. The journalist group obtained the recording and the messages from a woman, who had purportedly engaged in a sexual relationship with Saleeby for a decade, and verified them the best they could.
In one of the text exchanges, the former CNN producer allegedly shared seeing the girl "wearing very closely cut bottoms at the pool" and describing how he could see "the outlines" of her private parts. In the recording, the man, who is presumably Rick Saleeby, shares his fantasies of forcing the daughter of his fiancée to perform an oral sex act on him.
Notably, in 2019 Saleeby had a run-in with Project Veritas, unknowingly tipping one of the group's undercover journalists about CNN Politics' supervising producer Steve Brusk being involved in regular sexual misconduct in the workplace with staffers. Project Veritas' piece on Brusk led to his resignation.
Saleeby has refused to comment on the accusations against him and CNN has not commented on the producer's resignation from the network, with the exception of confirming it.
Row of Sexual Misconduct Scandals at CNN
The resignation of Saleeby is just the latest in a series of sexual misconduct-related scandals at CNN. Last month, the network fired its veteran prime time anchor Chris Cuomo over his involvement in helping his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his fight against sexual harassment allegations.
14 December 2021, 13:04 GMT
Also, earlier this month the network fired a former producer for Chris Cuomo, 44-year-old John Griffin, who was charged with several counts of sexual crimes against minors in Vermont. According to an unsealed indictment, Griffin contacted several parents of underage girls trying to convince them to let their children undergo "sexual training" with him.
In at least one instance he paid a mother so that she would travel to him in Boston and later convinced her to direct her underage daughter to "engage in unlawful sexual activity", the indictment said.
Griffin also allegedly proposed to initiate his "sexual training" via video chat before continuing it in person. The in-person training was also supposed to involve teaching underage girls "to be sexually submissive", "spanking", as well as "c*ck worship", the indictment said.
CNN stated that it had no knowledge of Griffin's activities. The network first suspended and then fired the top producer soon after he was charged with crimes against minors.