Fox News’ biggest Trump fan says he snared his wife while the pair both worked in Alabama with his “frequent voice-mail messages and incessant exchange of ideas.” Sean Hannity married Jill Rhodes in 1993. The couple lives in Long Island together, where Hannity hails from. They have two children, Sean Patrick and Merri Kelly. Rhodes is a native of Alabama and like her husband, studied journalism in her college years.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hannity Has Become the Latest Fox News Personality to Become Embroiled in a Sex Scandal
On April 24, Hannity denied allegations that he had sexually harassed a former regular guest on his show, Debbie Schlussel. She had alleged that Hannity had invited her to a hotel room in Detroit following a book signing. When Schlussel refused, she says Hannity banished her from his show.
During an interview with Oklahoma radio host Pat Campbell, Schlussel said, “This kind of stuff is all over the place at Fox News and anything that has to do with Sean Hannity.”
Though, in a swerve, Schlussel then told LawNewz on April 24, “I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that. I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked.”
While Hannity has called the allegations, “100 percent false.”
2. Hannity Dedicated His First Bestselling Book to His Wife
Touchingly, Hannity dedicated his 2002 book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism, to Rhodes referring to her as “the love of [his] life.” Hannity called his children, “the greatest gift God ever gave to me.” Hannity adds, “The most important acknowledgement I make is to my family – my wife, Jill and my two children, Patrick and Kelly, to whom I dedicate this book. They are the ones who put up with the long work hours I needed to invest in this project. They are the ones who make it worth doing – and who make my life complete and happy on more levels than I can explain. I am blessed to have them in my life.”
In a 2004 CBS interview, Hannity said, “I was the last person in my family that any thought would write a best selling book. I never planned it. My life has been a gift up to this point and I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination. And wherever this ride takes me is where I’m going.”
3. The Conservative Couple Are Planning to Leave New York When They’re Kids Are Done in High School
Back in 2014, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “extreme conservatives… have no place in New York.” Sean Hannity became adamant that he would be leaving New York. Curbed reported that Hannity had listed his Long Island waterfront mansion for $3.6 million. While Salon quoted Hannity as saying, “I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it.”
In the above appearance on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, Hannity admitted that he wouldn’t leave New York until his kids graduated high school.
Variety reported that the listed home wasn’t Hannity’s primary resident, saying that the Fox News host and Rhodes lived in nearby Centre Island. They moved into the area in 2008. The entertainment paper refers to their primary residence as “a larger and much more expensive mansion.”
During a 2002 interview with People Magazine, it was reported that Hannity and his family lived in “a five-bedroom house on Long Island.” Rhodes told the magazine that Hannity would “be happy living in a cardboard box.” The piece also noted that the couple were regular Catholic churchgoers. Writing in his 2002 book, Hannity noted that he would send his kids to Catholic school.
The New York Times interviewed Hannity in 1998. The article says that at that time, Hannity and Rhodes were living in Manhattan together but that the couple was “looking” for a home on Long Island.
4. When the Couple Met, Rhodes Was a Political Journalist With the Huntsville Times
In February 2002, Hannity told People Magazine that he met Rhodes while he was working in Alabama for WVNN radio in 1991. Then, Rhodes was working as a political columnist for the Huntsville Times. The story notes that Hannity would “amuse” Rhodes with his “frequent voice-mail messages.” It all apparently clicked when Rhodes saw Hannity at a mayoral debate he organized. She told People, “I looked at his face and I said, ‘That is the man I’m going to marry.'”
The New York Times reported in 1998 that Rhodes was working as a book editor in Manhattan.
According to her Facebook page, Rhodes studied theology and pastoral counselling at conservative hotbed Liberty University. A post on the university’s website in 2009 indicated that Rhodes was a student there.
Previously, Rhodes was a journalism student at the University of Alabama and is a native of Montgomery in the state.
Salon reported that in 2010, both Hannity and Rhodes separately gave $5,000 to Michele Bachmann’s political action committee. This came as the Minneapolis Star was reporting that donations to Bachmann’s committee were being investigated. There had been allegations that monies were being used to pay staffers on Bachmann’s presidential campaign.
4. Hannity Has Admitted That he Thinks About Other Women Who Aren’t His Wife
Hannity caused a minor stir on social media 2013 when the Fox News host admitted to a caller on his radio show that he thought about other women who weren’t his wife. His exact comments were, “You can’t not help notice attractive people! And if you say you can, you’re full of it!”
While Rhodes has been a champion of her husband’s work, in August 2009 she was pictured at one of Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts in San Diego.
In 2015, Rhodes was pictured with her husband and Greta Van Susteren doing charity work for Christmas in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti.
Amid the sexual harrassment scandal that engulfed Fox News in the summer of 2016, Sean Hannity proudly defending his boss. Hannity called the allegations, “All BS.” There had been rumors that Hannity would leave Fox News at the same time as his boss, those rumors have not come to pass.
In the 2002 People Magazine interview, Hannity noted that Fox News founder Roger Ailes should have fired him in 1996, saying, “Frankly, he should have fired me. I was god-awful. Then one day, it finally clicked.”