NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former editor of a New York newspaper once owned by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was charged on Friday by federal prosecutors with cyberstalking three people in connection with his divorce.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn said Ken Kurson, who is also a political consultant and former speechwriter for Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, sent threatening messages and used aliases to file false complaints against his victims in late 2015 amid the divorce proceedings.
They also said Kurson traveled on multiple occasions to where two victims worked, taking photos and asking about the work schedule of one, prompting their employer to hire a security guard for them.
Kurson is being released on $100,000 bond following a virtual appearance before a Brooklyn federal judge, following his arrest earlier Friday. Kushner was not charged or implicated in wrongdoing.
“Ken Kurson is an honorable man, a loving father and a talented writer,” his lawyer Marc Mukasey said. “This case is hardly the stuff of a federal criminal prosecution. Ken will get past it.”
Kurson was appointed editor in chief of The Observer in 2013, and stepped down in 2017. The Observer endorsed Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
According to court papers, Kurson’s alleged harassment targeted an unnamed person he “blamed” for the dissolution of his marriage, as well as that person’s supervisor and the supervisor’s wife, neither of whom he had met.
Prosecutors said a criminal investigation began in May 2018 after the FBI found evidence in a background check that Kurson had tried to “stalk and harass” the three victims.
According to the Times, the background check related to Trump’s nomination of Kurson for a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Kurson told the newspaper in a July 2018 interview that he withdrew from consideration the previous month, citing the amount of paperwork involved in the vetting process.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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