Fox News analyst: Victims of sexual assault are 'very few and far between'

Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin said on "Hannity" Thursday that women who experience sexual harassment and assault are "very few and far between," though she later clarified that she did not mean to dismiss the seriousness of the problem.

Host Sean Hannity asked Colwin, a manager partner of the law firm Gordon & Rees in New York, how common it is for women to make up harassment allegations for money or "political reasons."

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"There are individuals that'll come forward with these outrageous allegations," Colwin replied.

 

"There are women who are victims of predators," Hannity said.

"There are, but very few and far between," Colwin replied.

Colwin later put a lengthy statement out via Twitter, a day after the Hannity interview, to clarify her comments, noting that she did “not mean to imply nor do I believe, that the victims of sexual assault within society at large are 'very few and far between.' "

She added that she “sincerely apologize[s] that I did not express this distinction at the end of my appearance and am deeply sorry for appearing to diminish this very important issue.”

Colwin also noted that her sister suffered from domestic abuse and saying she was aware that “predators exist and deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The discussion comes as GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore faces allegations from several women in an explosive Washington Post story that he pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers, and in one instance had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.

Colwin said she has seen jurors dismiss the accounts of women who actually experienced harassment.

"Some jurors don't believe it because they have — they've gone — in their own lives there are people that have made these accusations for money. You see this time and time and time again."

"Sexual harassment — that term is coined everywhere. Frankly, there are — the laws are very clear as to what it takes to be a violation of the law. You have to have some sort of damage, and these individuals — a lot of these women it's all about money. And they bank on the fact that these corporations have a reputation that they want to save."

A growing number of public figures in media, entertainment and business face allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The revelations have sparked a national dialogue about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and have initiated widespread calls to crack down on such behavior.

Some of Fox News's most prominent personalities and figures have been accused of sexual harassment.

Last year, Roger Ailes, who was the network's chairman and CEO at the time, faced numerous allegations of making unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances toward female employees at Fox News and was eventually forced to resign. Ailes died earlier this year.

Bill O'Reilly, who was among the network's most prominent on-air personalities, was also forced out at the network earlier this year after a New York Times investigation revealed that the television host paid tens of millions of dollars to settle multiple sexual harassment claims. 

Another Fox News host, Eric Bolling, was fired in September following an investigation at the network into allegations that Bolling sent unsolicited inappropriate photos to current and former female colleagues at Fox.