Southfield — A prominent Detroit pastor has been suspended from his show on WFDF-AM (910) as questions are raised about the validity of his claims of sexual harassment against WXYZ-TV (Channel 7).
Radio station managers announced Tuesday the Rev. W.J. Rideout III would no longer be allowed to host his show on Saturday evenings or be interviewed on the station as part of an indefinite suspension.
Station owner Kevin Adell said he is skeptical of Rideout and his claims against two TV newsmen and a newspaper editor without providing proof. The alleged sexual harassment victims also have not been identified.
“You can’t just make an accusation about people without victims coming forward,” Adell said. “We are not using our platform here for somebody else’s agenda.”
WXYZ news anchor Malcom Maddox was placed on administrative leave last week following the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by Rideout. The station said it is investigating the claims.
Rideout’s suspension from 910 AM Superstation came just a few hours before the pastor led a protest outside WXYZ studios on 10 Mile. The 910 AM Superstation office is on the same property.
About 25 people marched down the sidewalk on Tuesday in a single file line chanting “no justice, no peace.”
Rideout said he organized the demonstration to support sexual harassment victims from WXYZ station.
“They know it’s true; they know it’s real,” Rideout said. “They had allegations; they had people come to the (station) manager.”
Rideout said the victims of sexual harassment at WXYZ do not want to be revealed. He told The Detroit News on Monday that he expected them to be at the protest but stopped short of saying if they were present on Tuesday.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss the victims or reveal them right now,” Rideout said.
The pastor said he expects the victims will eventually come forward and speak out.
Adell said if the alleged victims are revealed, he will “take a look at the story.”
However, he questioned whether the alleged victims would use Rideout as their outlet to alert the public.
“I find it very suspect that he would be the lead person on this ... the spokesperson for former and current employees,” Adell said. “He’s not a journalist. He’s not a reporter, what standards is he using?”
Rideout said he was not fazed by his suspension from 910 AM Superstation. He said he hosted his show on the station for a little more than a year.
“This is his (Adell’s) business; he can do what he wants to do,” Rideout said. “I have been kicked out of better places, but I’m not mad at Kevin Adell.”
Rideout last week accused Maddox of harassing a woman through phone calls, emails, text messages and showed her pictures. Numerous employees, he said, endured similar treatment.
He said the employee who made the claims has requested to remain anonymous.
Rideout claimed other members of the media have been accused of sexual harassment. However, he offered no specific allegations against them.