NBCUniversal cabler E! said Thursday it would investigate harassment claims lodged against correspondent Ken Baker.
Baker has been accused of sexual harassment, making inappropriate comments, and sending sexually charged text messages by two former E! News employees, one of whom was an intern, according to a report by The Wrap.
“E! has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” the company said in a statement. “We take all complaints of misconduct very seriously, and thoroughly investigate all allegations of harassment.”
E! did not elaborate beyond the statement, but Baker won’t appear on air while the probe is underway.
“I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache. I take them very seriously,” Baker told The Wrap. “I care deeply for people’s feelings and sincerely live in a way that treats people with dignity and respect.”
A former E! News employee and an ex-intern told The Wrap that the journalist’s behavior ranged from unwanted advances to sexual propositioning. The employee said Baker asked her to sit on his lap when the two were alone in his office together in 2012. The intern, meanwhile, said he forcibly kissed her in 2011, propositioned her for sex multiples times throughout the years, and texted her in 2015 about gifting her a dildo.
Sparked by allegations against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, these claims follow a slew of others accusing men in entertainment and the media of sexual misconduct.