Last week, another name was added to the list of men in the media industry fired for sexual harassment, and this one might sound familiar to fans of the popular Bravo series Southern Charm. Lockhart Steele, of Vox Media, came down to Charleston during Season 3 of Southern Charm to advise Landon Clements on her fledgling travel blog, which was then called Roam.
But since his time on Southern Charm, Lockhart Steele has gotten into some trouble at Vox Media for improper behavior with a former employee. He was discharged immediately.
Lockhart Steele appeared twice on Southern Charm and each time met with Landon Clements to advise her on her travel blog. On the show, Lockhart Steele was referred to Landon as a media specialist who could help her get her travel blog ready to go live, but her two meetings on the show were fruitless. Steele was curt with Landon and surprised that she had nothing to show him.
Liz Farrell of the Island Packet said that Landon Clements’ second meeting with Lockhart Steele didn’t go any better.
“Landon has once again hit a dead end and will once again face the utter embarrassment she felt when she had nothing to show Lockhart Steele from Vox. It’s been over a year since her second cringe-worthy meeting with Steele, and no progress has been made.”
Variety reported that Lockhart Steele has been terminated, effective immediately. Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff released a statement that revealed that Steele admitted to the behavior.
“Lockhart Steele was terminated effective immediately. Lock admitted engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and is not tolerated at Vox Media.”
Lockhart Steele previously was the managing editor at Gawker Media, which went under after the Hulk Hogan lawsuit. Bankoff says that Vox Media has hired the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to lead the investigation into a complaint made by a former employee. It seems that Lockhart Steele is not the only person of interest in the investigation.
“Vox Media is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community and appreciates those who have been willing to speak up and share information during the course of this investigation.”
The Awl broke the story that Vox Media fired Lockhart Steele and referenced a post on Medium by Eden Rohatensky about being attacked by the VP of a company she was working for, and then being fired after reporting it. Rohatensky didn’t name the company and didn’t name her attacker, but Bankoff and Vox Media both mention the Medium post in their notes about Lockhart Steele’s firing. Bankoff has since confirmed that the VP in Rohatensky’s story was Lockhart Steele. Bankoff says that there is still an ongoing investigation.
“We drove towards our destination and suddenly I felt the VP caress my hand. And then my arm. And then suddenly, in the dark corner of the car, he was kissing my neck. I grabbed his hand and held it down, worried he would try to go further with it.”
But according to The Awl, Lockhart Steele was likely leaving Vox Media next month anyway, as November 2017 marks four years since he sold his Curbed properties (Curbed, Eater, Racked) to Vox for approximately $20 million.
RELATED REPORTS BY INQUISITR
At the time Eden Rohatensky reported her attack by Lockhart Steele, she was told that he had too many shares in the company to fire or to do anything. After Rohatensky posted her article, she was told she didn’t report to the right person at the time.
“After posting this, I received a phone call from the company I was working with at the time. My report didn’t make it into the right hands, and it has now.”
Are you surprised that Lockhart Steele, who was fired from Vox Media, is the same guy that advised Landon on Southern Charm?
[Featured Image by Seth Wenig/AP Images]