What Emily Compagno Was Doing Before Joining Fox News

Fox News' "Outnumbered" host Emily Compagno made headlines in early July after her claims about Kenyan women went viral. During a July 5 appearance on Fox News late-night show, "Gutfeld!" (via Daily Beast), Compagno claimed pregnant Kenyan women couldn't vote while criticizing celebrities speaking out after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24. "The insularity of these celebrities is so asinine to me! It is so nauseating. These comments are totally delusional," she exclaimed. "We have less voting rights? What about in Kenya where pregnant women can't leave the house so they absolutely have no constructive right to vote?" But after Media Matters reported on her comment, the pushback was fast and furious.

Kenya's first female presidential candidate, Charity Ngilu, tweeted: "Wait, what? In Kenya pregnant women can't leave the house? @EmilyCompagno probably start by locating Kenya on the map first, maybe? @FoxNews @foxnewspolitics." \Kenyan political strategist Pauline Njoroge added to the Twitter ratio, tweeting, "What is this? What is Emily Compagno saying? That in Kenya pregnant women can't leave the house so they have no right to vote? What does she imagine our country is like? That statement is incorrect, misleading, condescending, and should be withdrawn." After a huge backlash about her comment, Compagno doubled down on her claims, attributing her remark to unsourced websites, per The Daily Beast.

The 40-year-old isn't the first cable news personality to receive backlash for controversial comments (hello, Sean Hannity), but what was Compagno doing before joining Fox News?

Emily Compagno was a lawyer and was an NFL cheerleader

Before Fox News, Emily Compagno had a diverse career path. According to her Fox News bio, Compagno worked at the Social Security Administration, was a criminal defense and civil attorney, and was an NFL cheerleader. But the Fox News host explains the combination of lawyer and professional cheerleader isn't that unusual. In a 2021 interview with The Wrap, Compagno said, "The common denominator in my background is I was always pursuing a passion mixed with an opportunity." She was already an attorney when she became an Oakland Raiders cheerleader and her job was supportive of the cheerleading role. "They were former professional athletes and coaches themselves, and they represented a lot of professional athletes in many high-profile cases," Compagno explained.

In a 2009 interview with SFGate, Compagno explained, "People in the legal field are always surprised when they learn I'm a Raiderette. I don't broadcast it; I don't have my team poster in the office. And there's equal surprise when people first know me as a Raiderette and find out I'm an attorney." After practicing law since 2006 and becoming the head cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco law graduate moved from private law practice to become a general attorney at the Social Security Administration between 2010 and 2014, eventually becoming Acting Director at the Social Security Administration, per The Sun. Then the ambitious attorney set her sights on becoming a legal analyst.

Like Kayleigh McEnany, Emily Compagno moved to Fox News

Emily Compagno was officially hired to co-host "Outnumbered" with anchor Harris Faulkner in January 2021. In FOX News Channel's announcement, CEO Suzanne Scott praised Compagno. "Emily has greatly impressed us over the years with her legal expertise and natural ability to connect with our audience on a wide variety of stories," Scott explained. Compagno weighed in, saying, "I look forward to sharing my legal and political insights with Harris and our incredible audience every day." 

According to her Fox News bio, the 42-year-old TV host began contributing to Fox News in 2018, appearing as a guest on "The Five." In addition, Compagno hosted "Crimes that Changed America" on Fox Nation, the cable network's streaming service.

Compagno got a new "Outnumbered" co-host shortly after she arrived at Fox News. Kayleigh McEnany, the fourth White House press secretary under Donald Trump, joined the show in March 2021, per Deadline. The co-hosts both got TV gigs after leaving government positions, and Compagno seems to love working with McEnany. She posted a photo with McEnany on Instagram in December 2021 and wrote: "Join us NOW at kayleighbook.com for @kayleighmcenany's LIVE SIGNING of her new book 'For Such a Time as This: My Faith Journey Through the White House.' ... Such an honor to be here for my friend Kayleigh."