|Shepard and his office romance of 2011 with 26 yrs old Gio Graciano|
Shepard Smith, the endlessly endearing (and easily angered) Fox News anchor, has likened the right-wing channel to a “family,” with president Roger Ailes as its domineering father. Which makes it only slightly awkward that in early 2012, the 49-year-old anchor started courting an attractive young production assistant who worked under him on Fox Report With Shepard Smith. Now they are a couple.Gawker
Shepard Smith Tells Waitress: “Get My Fucking Drink!”
Shepard Smith, the new director of Fox News’ breaking news operation, is by far the channel’s most…
Gawker has learned that Smith is dating a 26-year-old Penn State grad and Fox Business producer named Giovanni “Gio” Graziano. According to multiple sources with knowledge of their relationship, the couple met sometime after Graziano started working at Fox Report in October 2011 as a production assistant. He’s the man with whom Smith frequents Bathtub Gin.
“Yes, that’s Shepard’s boyfriend,” Katya Minskova, the Bathtub Gin waitress Smith berated in March, confirmed to Gawker when shown a photo of Graziano. Another source who had seen them together at the Chelsea speakeasy confirmed Graziano’s identity as well. Both sources say they saw Graziano and Smith together at the bar on multiple occasions, and that they appeared to be romantically involved.
While Smith and Graziano’s boss Roger Ailes, a notorious homophobe, was apparently kept in the dark about the relationship—“higher ups had no idea,” a source close to Graziano said—the pair doesn’t appear to have gone to great lengths to keep the workplace romance from their co-workers.
Shepard Smith, a Fox News anchor since 1996, revealed last week that he had no intention of opening up about his sexuality the way he did during an April speech at his alma mater.
Speaking at a conference, Smith was tapped to talk on a panel titled “It Starts With MEek,” one that was meant to promote inclusivity and diversity. According to a report made by the Clarion-Ledger, Smith changed his speech at the last minute to reflect the crux of the conversation and decided to tell his own story of inclusivity and diversity.
“It wasn’t until seven, or eight, or nine years ago, I started living my truth,” Smith told the crowd gathered to hear the panel. “I grew up in Holly Springs (Miss.). I went to the First Methodist Church. I went to Ole Miss. I was also trying to avoid what having a normal social life is. I didn’t need to go home and find my girlfriend or boyfriend.”
He revealed that he dropped out of college in 1987, just two credits short of graduating, and began working on television in Florida. Smith said that at that time, coming out wasn’t something he’d even considered. Married to Virginia Donald from 1987-1993, Smith didn’t really have the option.
“A. You’re going to hell for it,” Smith said about his internal battle over coming out as homosexual. “B. You’ll never have any friends again.
"C. What are you going to tell your family? And by the way, you’re on television on the craziest conservative network on Earth. That will probably put you in front of a brick wall. Of course none of that was true, but that’s how it felt.”
He continued, “I don’t think about it. It’s not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.”
Smith also took the time to stamp out old rumors that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes forbid him from coming out.
The Fox News reporter came out in October 2016 and noted that he never had a poor experience with Ailes.
“It’s such a wonderful place,” he told the Huffington Post in an interview about the Fox organization, “and it’s been home forever. [Ailes] was very fatherly and mentorish.”
About the reports that Ailes forced him to closet his sexuality, Smith denied it ever happened, but revealed that purported homophobic remarks made by Ailes in the past — but never around Smith — did hurt him.
“He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” Smith admitted. “I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.” By Sarah Taylor on The Blaze