Former Seven journalist facing misconduct allegations

A former Channel Seven journalist who was last month named among Harvey Weinstein's "army of spies" is facing accusations of sexual misconduct.

Dylan Howard - who was sacked by Seven almost 10 years ago during the AFL's stolen medical files scandal - is now a top editor at American Media Inc, the publisher of US gossip magazines including the National Enquirer and US Weekly.

Former employees have now come forward to accuse the Australian expat of inappropriate behaviour while working at the company's Los Angeles office. Howard allegedly forced female employees to watch pornography and openly discussed his sexual exploits in the newsroom, according to the Associated Press.

The former sports reporter turned gossip writer also allegedly referred to himself as "Dildo" around US colleagues. Fairfax Media understands this nickname was used well before Howard moved to America.

A former American Media editor also claims Howard encouraged a female employee to "have sex with people for information".

Howard's conduct triggered a workplace investigation in 2012. He quit soon after the external consultant handed down their report. However, he was rehired a year later and took a more senior position at American Media's New York bureau.

Howard has denied any wrongdoing, including an allegation he wanted to create a Facebook account for a colleague's vagina. He told AP the former employees' claims are "baseless".

Cam Stracher, a lawyer for American Media, said there was some "horsing around" outside the office, but this was common in the media industry.

"None of it rose to the level of harassment that would require a termination," he said.

A former Australian colleague told Fairfax Media that Howard was a "bully" who would use lewd language in order to belittle colleagues. However, another former colleague said he was simply an "incredible journalist" who just made a lot of enemies.

"He is in a grubby industry ... but was nowhere near the tip of the iceberg," the ex-colleague said.

The misconduct allegations come after The New Yorker reported that Howard shared information with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as part of a plan to disprove rape allegations.

The Australian export has been behind a number of major entertainment stories over the years after walking away from sport reporting, including - at one point - finding himself in Charlie Sheen's bathroom while the Two and a Half Men star conducted a urine test.

This story Former Seven journalist facing misconduct allegations first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.