WASHINGTON — Ryan Lizza, who has been the New Yorker’s Washington correspondent and an on-air contributor to CNN, was dropped from the publication over what the magazine said was “improper sexual conduct.”
“The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a spokesperson said. “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 suspended Lizza. A spokesperson said they “have just learned of the New Yorker’s decision. Ryan Lizza will not appear on CNN while we look into this matter.” He has been a contributor at the network since 2012.
Lizza issued a statement in which he said that the New Yorker’s action in dismissing him was a “terrible mistake.” But Douglas Wigdor, an attorney who said that he represented a woman accuser, challenged Lizza’s contention.
Recently, Lizza is best known as the reporter who published the details of a conversation he had in late July with Anthony Scaramucci, who was recently named White House communications director. Scaramucci’s tenure was short-lived, as his conversation with Lizza was an expletive-laden tirade in which he bashed other White House officials, including then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
Lizza said in a statement to Politico that he was “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.”
He added, “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 os the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake.”
Lizza previously worked at The New Republic, where he was a political correspondent from 1998 to 2007, and was a correspondent for GQ and contributing editor for New York magazine.
Wigdor issued a statement saying that his client asked to remain anonymous.
“Although she desires to remain confidential and requests that her privacy be respected, in no way did Mr. Lizza’s misconduct constitute a ‘respectful relationship’ as he has now tried to characterize it,” Wigdor said in a statement. “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.”
His law firm declined to provide additional details of the allegations. Wigdor is the same attorney who has filed multiple lawsuits against Fox News involving sexual harassment, discrimination and defamation.