A former John DeBella Show on-air sidekick has filed a lawsuit against the show’s namesake host, alleging that the longtime 102.9 WMGK personality repeatedly sexually harassed her during her employment at the station.
Jennifer Neill, who served as DeBella’s sidekick on the show between 2010 and 2016, names about 30 instances of improper verbal and physical conduct in the lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court. She joined the station as a traffic reporter in 2002.
Known as “Jen Posner” on the show, Neill contends in the suit that DeBella, now 66, grabbed her breasts on several occasions during her time at WMGK, and repeatedly asked her to perform oral sex on him, among other inappropriate behaviors.
Additionally, she says in the suit that DeBella pressed his groin against her multiple times, and once put her hand on his genital area. DeBella also allegedly referred to Neill as “Bitch” in the WMGK office, the lawsuit claims.
In another instance mentioned in the 57-page suit, DeBella allegedly said he had been “waiting 14 years for” oral sex from her. In yet another, Neill alleges DeBella brought cucumbers from his home garden to the WMGK office, and insisted that the largest cucumber would “reach your G-spot,” among other alleged inappropriate comments.
WMGK’s management, Neill claims, conducted an investigation into her allegations after she filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in September 2016. As part of that investigation, the suit says, DeBella described his alleged behavior as “jokes” that were “mutual.”
Neill says in the lawsuit that she was unaware of any disciplinary action against DeBella, and that the station’s management witnessed harassment by DeBella on several occasions. In one incident, Neill claims, a human resources director “threw her hands up in the air” and pretended not to see anything when she happened on DeBella pressing his groin against Neill at an office printer. In another, Neill says, program director Bill Weston saw a photo on DeBella’s office computer of a man performing oral sex on a woman, but took no action against the host.
Following the investigation, the suit says, Neill was eventually given the option of rejoining DeBella on the air, or being reassigned as a traffic reporter. She ended up taking the traffic reporter job, which the lawsuit calls a “substantial demotion.” Neill left WMGK in January 2017.
DeBella could not be reached for comment. The Beasley Broadcast Group, WMGK’s parent company, issued a statement regarding the suit, but declined to otherwise comment.
“Beasley prides itself on being an equal opportunity employer and takes such allegations very seriously,” the statement read. “However, at this time, we are not offering specific comment on the matter.”
Neill’s attorney, Caren N. Gurmankin of Console Mattiacci Law, declined to comment.
Neill is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and legal costs.