Deal Hudson, publisher of Crisis magazine and, until recently, a top Bush political adviser on outreach to Roman Catholics, will resign from the magazine at the end of the year after five of his most influential columnists pressured the board to get rid of him.
The columnists, who include some of the nation's best-known Catholic scholars, told the board in a letter that they would leave the magazine unless the board ejected Mr. Hudson, 54.
According to two scholars familiar with the letter, the columnists were angry about an Aug. 19 National Catholic Reporter (NCR) expose on Mr. Hudson's sexual liaison with an 18-year-old student in 1994, an action that cost him his tenured professorship at Fordham University and a $30,000 settlement.
In addition, specific accusations of more recent sexual misconduct had come to the board's attention, one scholar said.
"This was not about one incident 10 years ago," he said. "It's surprising it was held down as long as it was. I haven't gone out of my way to track Deal Hudson's improprieties — I could be doing nothing else. But you began to wonder after a while if they are true."
...After Mr. Hudson quit the Bush-Cheney campaign in mid-August, support for him and Crisis among Catholic intellectuals evaporated.
Advisory board member Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for President Reagan who is volunteering her time with the Bush re-election effort, quickly canceled a speech she had agreed to give at the magazine's $250-a-plate fund-raiser last Friday night at the Willard Hotel.
Many of Washington's best-known Catholics also boycotted the dinner, and there were many empty seats at the gathering of 330 people. Miss Noonan also turned down an annual award given by the magazine.