An author has accused public radio star John Hockenberry of a range of creepy behavior in an essay posted online late Friday night.
Suki Kim writes on the website The Cut, that Hockenberry, 61, who is married with five children, begged her for a date and peppered her with weird and suggestive emails.
Kim said she appeared on his show in December 2014 to talk about her book on her experiences while living in North Korea.
About a year later, Hockenberry, who is paralyzed from the waist down, began sending her emails, including one which read, “Need another dose of you.”
On her birthday, she claims he asked her, “Let me know if I am I bugging you or creeping you out?”
Author Suki Kim (pictured) accused John Hockenberry of sexual harassment in an online post.
(Tanya Braganti for New York Dail)
Kim writes that three other women told her Hockenberry’s behavior ranged from unwanted kisses to gross sexual remarks and improper caressing.
She also claims that Hockenberry forced out three African-American female co-hosts who he soured on.
“You shouldn’t stay here just as a ‘diversity hire,’” he told one woman, according to Kim. “And you should go lose weight.”
Hockenberry responded to the accusations in a statement.
(l-r) Melina Laboucan-Massimo, John Hockenberry, Lori Shenher and Michele Pineault speak onstage at Canada’s Shame: The Murdered and Missing during Tina Brown’s 7th Annual Women In The World Summit at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 7, 2016.
(Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
“I’ve always had a reputation for being tough, and certainly I’ve been rude, aggressive and impolite,” he said.
“Looking back, my behavior was not always appropriate and I’m sorry. It horrifies me that I made the talented and driven people I worked with feel uncomfortable, and that the stress around putting together a great show was made worse by my behavior. Having to deal with my own physical limitations has given me an understanding of powerlessness, and I should have been more aware of how the power I wielded over others, coupled with inappropriate comments and communications, could be construed. I have no excuses.”
Hockenberry was host of the successful WNYC show, “The Takeaway,” until August when he stepped down.
After leaving NPR, Hockenberry was a guest host for the Charlie Rose show in September.
Rose was canned from his show after women made sexual harassment allegations about him.