Ken Kurson, the former editor of a New York newspaper that had been owned by his friend Jared Kushner, a top advisor to President Donald Trump, has been charged by federal prosecutors with stalking and harassment of three people.
Kurson, a political consultant who is also a confidante of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is accused of repeatedly visting his victims at work, making false complaints with their employer and “malicious cyber activity,” the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday.
Kurson blamed one of the victims for splitting up his marriage, a criminal complaint says.
The complaint also says that FBI agents found evidence that between September 2015 and December 2015, Kurson accessed the email and social media accounts of other victims without their consent or knowledge, and installed keystroke logging spyware on one victim’s compueter.
There was also evidence that Kurson contacted victims’ employer to make claims that include a “false allegation of improper contact with a minor.”
The complaint against Kurson, 52, comes two years after The New York Times reported that two doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York had accused him of harassment, and that the FBI was investigating their claims as part of a background check of Kurson for a federal appointment.
Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for Kurson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kurson told The Times in 2018 that he withdrew from consideration for a Trump administration-appointed seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities because of the amount of paperwork involved in the vetting process.
The Times reported that the time that the alleged harassment began in 2015, and “occurred while Mr. Kurson and his wife were on the verge of getting a divorce.”
“The doctor, who had been a longtime friend of the couple’s, told hospital officials that she was concerned about what she saw as Mr. Kurson’s angry, erratic behavior,” The Times said.
Kurson, who helped run Giluani’s 2008 presidential campaign, called the doctor a “very good friend” in a Times interview. “I wish her nothing but the best.”
Kurson previously served as editor of The New York Observer, when that then-weekly newpaper was owned by Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law. The news outlet now is published online under the name Observer.
A press release issued by Brooklyn federal prosecutors said that Kurson surrendered to authorities Friday, and that a criminal complaint charges Kurson, who allegedly used the aliases “Jayden Wagner” and “Eddie Train,” with stalking and harassing three individuals.
He is due to appear before a judge on Friday afternoon.
The release said that since 2015, the Maplewood, New Jersey, resident “Kurson engaged in a pattern of stalking and harassment against three victims.”
“As part of this pattern, Kurson used multiple aliases to file false complaints about two of the victims with their employer, post false negative reviews about one victim’s professional conduct on crowd-sourced review websites and made unsolicited contact with two of the victims,” the prosecutors’ office sad.
“Kurson traveled on multiple occasions to the workplace of two of the victims, taking photographs and inquiring about one victim’s work schedule,” the release said.
“During the investigation, the FBI gathered evidence that Kurson simultaneously engaged in a similar pattern of harassment against two other individuals. As a result of Kurson’s conduct, an employer of two of the victims hired a security guard.”
Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said that “Kurson bullied his victims by attacking their character online and attempted to intimidate them by showing up at their place of employment without a valid reason.”