Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is at the center of a new rumor suggesting that he is gay. According to a report in Gawker, the 49-year-old newsman and his young boyfriend have been seen at various bars around New York City.
Smith, according to Gawker, is dating a 26-year-old Fox Business producer and Penn State graduate named Giovanni “Gio” Graziano. As Gawker notes, the two met when Graziano started working at “The Fox Report,” Smith’s former show, as a production assistant in 2011.
In October 2012, as Gawker points out, Smith had Graziano transferred to “Varney & Co,” a show on Fox Business News, in order to avoid any “conflict of interest.”
Smith and Graziano aren’t attempting to hide their relationship, as they’ve allegedly been spotted together at (straight) Manhattan bars like the Ainsworth and the Bathtub Gin in Chelsea and the Village Pourhouse on Third Avenue in the East Village, Gawker said.
Some of their co-workers at Fox News also seem to be aware of the relationship.
“The people who know the most are [Graziano’s] former co-workers from Fox,” a source told Gawker. “One of the production assistants even saw him getting into Shep’s limo one night earlier this year around 8 p.m. outside Fox, after Shep’s show was over.”
It’s not clear if Graziano still works at Fox News. His LinkedIn profile lists him as an associate producer at Fox Business Network, but he doesn’t have a landline at Fox and he isn’t listed in the employee directory. What’s more, a source told Gawker that he left Fox in July. However, as Gawker points out, two Fox email addresses associated with Graziano remain active.
The latest rumor (though hardly the first) about Smith being gay got started when Gawker published a story earlier this week about the news anchor getting into a verbal altercation with a waitress at the Bathtub Gin in Chelsea after she was slow to refill his drink.
“He got up from his table, grabbed my elbow, and started yelling,” Katya Minskova, a 30-year-old waitress, told Gawker. Smith allegedly shouted obscenities at her: “Where the f**k is my drink! Where is my f*****g drink! Get my f*****g drink!”
“He started smacking his hands, like the back of his right hand into the palm of his left,” Minskova said. “He was spitting. His veins were popping out.”
Gawker said that Smith was with a male companion who regularly goes to that bar with him when the outburst occurred. When Minskova was shown a photo of Graziano, she said “Yes, that’s Shepard’s boyfriend.”
Neither Smith nor Graziano has commented on the report.