Ken Kurson, hired by Jared Kushner to run the Observer, accused of 'stalking'

Ken Kurson, hired by Jared Kushner to run the Observer, accused of 'stalking'

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The newspaper endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016.

October 23, 2020, 7:44 PM

• 3 min read

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Ken Kurson, a friend of President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and an associate of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, was arrested Friday by the FBI and charged with a "pattern of stalking and harassment against three victims," including one he blamed for the dissolution of his marriage, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

Kurson surrendered to the FBI Friday morning and is expected to make an initial appearance in Brooklyn federal court later on Friday.

Kurson used aliases -- Eddie Train and Jayden Wagner -- when he filed false complaints about two of the victims with their employers and posted negative reviews online about one victim's professional conduct, according to the criminal complaint.

Ken Kurson and Jared Kushner attend The New York Observer Celebrates Robert Kurson's New Book PIRATE HUNTERS at The Rusty Knot, June 15, 2015, in New York.

Ken Kurson and Jared Kushner attend The New York Observer Celebrates Robert Kurson's New Book PIRATE HUNTERS at The Rusty Knot, June 15, 2015, in New York.

The FBI only learned about the alleged stalking and harassment because Kurson underwent a background check when he was considered for a post in the Trump administration -- reportedly on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities -- in 2018, according to FBI special agent Andrew Taff.

"During the course of that background investigation, FBI Special Agents obtained information indicating that Kurson had used the mail, interactive computer services, electronic communication services, electronic communication systems of interstate commerce and other facilities of interstate commerce to stalk and harass Individual No. 1, Individual No. 2 and Individual No. 3 between approximately November 2015 and December 2015," Taff said in a sworn affidavit.

"Kurson was engaged in divorce proceedings and blamed Individual No. 1, among others, for the dissolution of his marriage," the complaint said.

Jared Kushner appointed Kurson as editor of The Observer, a position from which Kurson resigned in 2017. The paper endorsed Trump for president in 2016.

Kurson's attorney, Marc Mukasey, provided the following statement to ABC News: "Ken Kurson is an honorable man, a loving dad, and a brilliant writer. This case is hardly the stuff of a federal criminal al prosecution. He will get past it."

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