Suit claiming radio personality Eric Ferguson coerced sex from colleague is dropped

Cynthia DeNicolo dropped the suit without explanation. Her lawyer declined to say whether a settlement was involved.

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Eric Ferguson

Eric Ferguson

Sun-Times files

A woman who accused former Chicago radio host Eric Ferguson of pressuring her to perform sex acts has dropped her lawsuit.

Cynthia DeNicolo filed the suit in 2021, which also accused Ferguson of retaliating against her when she stopped doing what he wanted.

A tentative trial date had been set for January 2024.

Cook County Judge Daniel Kubasiak signed the order dropping DeNicolo’s suit June 21.

DeNicolo’s attorney, Carmen Caruso, responded “no comment” when asked why DeNicolo decided to end the lawsuit and whether a settlement was involved.

The request to drop the suit was granted “with prejudice,” which means she cannot refile.

The judge also ordered Ferguson and DeNicolo to pay their own attorneys’ fees.

Ferguson was a star radio host at WTMX-FM 101.9, owned by Hubbard Radio Chicago.

He’d been there for 25 years before being sidelined after DeNicolo’s allegations, which were followed by other women who accused Ferguson of workplace misconduct.

Ferguson, who denied engaging in inappropriate conduct, later announced he was leaving his job.

An attorney for Ferguson did not return a message seeking comment, nor did a representative of Hubbard Radio Chicago.

DeNicolo worked at the radio station known as “The Mix” for nearly 20 years. She was laid off in 2020. She alleged Ferguson would say he “needed a backrub” as code words for unwanted demands for oral sex.

Several other women also came forward with accusations against Ferguson.

Ferguson’s co-host, Melissa McGurren, who left the station in December 2020 without explanation, later accused Ferguson of workplace harassment that made the radio station a toxic environment for women.

The women alleged Hubbard Radio refused to rein in its star host, and instead, protected him.

Federal defamation suits were filed by DeNicolo and McGurren against Hubbard Radio after the company said it found no corroborating evidence of illegal workplace conduct.

The women claimed the company’s statement amounted to calling them liars.

Federal judges determined the claims didn’t rise to the level of defamation, and the suits were dismissed.

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