Fox News host Jesse Watters is facing criticism after claiming that he once “let the air out of” his now-wife’s tyres when he was “trying to get [her]” to date him so that she would accept his offer of a ride home.
Watters, 43, shared the memory about his wife Emma DiGiovine, 29, during an episode of his panel series The Five last week, where he told his colleagues that he had relied on the tactic to get close to his then-colleague.
“When I was trying to get Emma to date me, first thing I did, uh, I let the air out of her tyres,” Watters claimed. “She couldn’t go anywhere, she needed a lift. I said: ‘Hey, you need a lift?’ She hopped right in the car.”
As Watters laughed about the recollection, one of his fellow hosts asked whether his now-wife “knows this story,” to which the Fox News host said no. “Now she does,” he added laughing.
The story prompted a range of reactions from Watters’ co-hosts, with one asking whether his wife watches the show, while Greg Gutfeld jokingly told his co-host: “You’re basically the Zodiac Killer.”
In response, Watters said the tactic worked in his favour. “It was a happy ending! We’re married,” he said, before answering Jeanine Pirro’s question about whether this was the first time he used the technique by claiming that it “works like a charm”.
Watters married DiGiovine, who worked as a producer on his show, according to HuffPost, in December 2019, after finalising his divorce from Noelle Inguagiato after 10 years of marriage the same year.
Jesse Watters boasting about how he let the air out of his intern’s tires to get her in his car for a date. WHILE MARRIED
— Bill T 🌻🇺🇸🏳️🌈🇺 (~):-) Deadhead vegan guitar (@WeirdBill69) April 18, 2022
On social media, where a video of the clip has been viewed more than 843,000 times, many viewers have expressed their discomfort with Watters’ “concerning” claim.
“Jesse Watters jokes about how he courted a woman 14 years his junior. He let the air out of her tyres so he could offer her a ride home. He leaves out that he was married at the time,” one person wrote along with the clip. “This is some stalker nonsense. She also worked for him. It’s a Fox News love story.”
“Yikes! That is scary,” another person tweeted, while someone else said: “Jesse Watters of Fox News bragged about deflating a woman’s tyres so she would have to get in his car for a date. That’s disgusting and concerning.”
The Independent has contacted Fox News and DiGiovine for comment.