Fox News Host and Former Superior Court Judge Refutes Sexual Assault Lawsuit as Extortion Attempt
Fox News commentator and a former New Jersey superior court judge, Andrew Napolitano, refuted claims that he offered legal aid to a man in return for sexual favors. He told a New Jersey state judge that the man’s allegations against him, including an accusation of attempted rape, is nothing but a “blatant act of extortion.”
On December 21, Napolitano said that the allegations against him by James Kruzelnick were malicious. He further added that Kruzelnick’s $15 million suit is unlawful, stating, “Plaintiff clearly and mistakenly thinks that by publishing his lies about former Judge Napolitano, he will, through intimidation and threat of public humiliation, extract a payday to remedy his long-standing financial problems, which include a foreclosure, personal bankruptcy, and at least one unsatisfied court judgment.”
Kruzelnick is seeking $15 million in damages, as per the court documents filed in New Jersey Superior Court. He met Napolitano in 2014 while working as a waiter at the Mohawk House in Sussex County. Kruzelnick claimed that the Fox & Friends regular “developed a strong attraction to him.”
It was in December 2014, according to Kruzelnick, when Napolitano followed him into a restroom and allegedly groped him. He stated in the suit that he was “flattered by the fact that Napolitano, a famous television personality, was interested in spending time with him.” He further added that the Fox News commentator initially respected his set boundaries.
However, Napolitano’s stance changed on September 6, 2015, as per Kruzelnick’s allegations. Kruzelnick stated that when he paid a visit to Napolitano’s home, the former, without any warning, entered a living room with his pants down.
Kruzelnick states in the suit that Napolitano allegedly said, “I am really into certain things” and “I want you to do something for me.” He walked up to Kruzelnick’s chair and thrust himself on his lap. While doing so, Napolitano allegedly told the plaintiff, “I want you to start slapping me really hard.” The suit further claims, “Before Plaintiff could say anything in response, defendant Andrew Napolitano then demanded that James Kruzelnick spank his exposed buttocks while Napolitano masturbated on his lap.”
Kruzelnick also claimed that Napolitano was enraged when he declined his advances. He alleged that on one occasion Napolitano drugged him with the intention of raping him.
Napolitano filed counterclaims against Kruzelnick’s allegations. The Fox News commentator has accused his former friend of slander, privacy invasion, and defamation. He alleged that the ‘friend’ wanted to destroy his reputation using his private life and label him as a “rapist who sexually assaults younger men and abuses his perceived power.”
A criminal defendant, Charles Corbishley, also sued Napolitano in September, alleging sexual assault by the former judge in 1988. Corbishley alleged that Napolitano, following the assault, gave him a light sentence that excluded jail time. Such a light sentence was not the handed down to his co-defendant, whom the former judge gave a multi-year sentence for the same charges as Corbishley.
The Fox News commentator claims that both the suits of Kruzelnick and Corbishley are an attempt by the plaintiffs’ legal teams to acquire $10 million in damages. Joseph & Norinsberg LLC represents both plaintiffs.
Napolitano’s team issued a statement declaring, “Judge Napolitano categorically denies the libelous allegations set forth in plaintiff’s copycat complaint. In a blatant act of extortion plaintiff, a man former Judge Napolitano once considered a friend has fabricated and published sensationalized details portraying former Judge Napolitano in grossly false light.”