The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (2024)

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ByJon O'Brien/

Emily Compagno's life story reads like something of an alternative Forrest Gump. Sure, she might not have become a ping-pong champion, inspired a young Elvis Presley or gone into the shrimping business. But the star's impressively eclectic career has seen her rub shoulders with figures from the White House (Kayleigh McEnany), earn military honors (the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps' Cadet of the Quarter Award), and venture into the world of the NFL (as an ambassador and member of the Oakland Raiderettes).

Of course, Compagno is almost as outspoken as she is versatile. The criminal defense attorney-turned-cheerleader-turned-TV host has constantly made headlines since she joined Fox News in 2018 thanks to her opinionated nature, making enemies of everyone from New York Congresswomen and Hollywood veterans to entire movements in the process.

But what else makes the "Outnumbered" presenter tick? From a secret romance to unexpected career ambitions and cinematic favorites, here's a look at Compagno's untold truth.

There's a method to Emily Compagno's madness

Although Emily Compagno's wide-ranging career makes it seem as though the multi-talent has simply plucked each new job out of a hat, there apparently is a method to her madness. Indeed, in a 2021 interview with TheWrap, the Californian argued that all the industry-hopping has been entirely organic.

Shortly after being confirmed as the new presenter of Fox News' "Outnumbered," Compagno insisted, "The common denominator in my background is I was always pursuing a passion mixed with an opportunity."The political science graduate went on to use her unlikely foray into cheerleading for the Oakland Raiders as an example: "Part of why I was able to flourish there was because I, at the time, was practicing criminal defense with this amazing firm. They were former professional athletes and coaches themselves and they represented a lot of professional athletes in many high-profile cases."

Compagno was subsequently made an NFL ambassador, which led to various TV appearances, which led to various media connections, which ultimately led to a job as a legal analyst on America's premier conservative news network.

Emily Compagno married in secret

What do model Emily Ratajkowski, Bachelorette Emily Maynard, and Fox News regular Emily Compagno all have in common? Well, apart from the obvious, of course. They all decided to get married in secret.

Yes, in 2017, Compagno walked down the aisle with a mysterious guy named Pete, thousands of miles away from their nearest and dearest. According to British newspaper The Sun, the couple said "I do" at Hotel Villa Cimbrone on Italy's Amalfi Coast with only their photographers, Tree and Jos Woodsmith, for company. The location may well have been inspired by the "Outnumbered" co-host's heritage. "Intent on maintaining the focus completely and thoughtfully on our love for each other and the lifetime vow we were undertaking, with my intention set to honor my family and our southern Italian culture, we planned a wedding for just the two of us in southern Italy," Compagno wrote for a now-archived Layers of Luxe magazine feature. The lovebirds enjoyed their lavish food and gorgeous scenery throughout the private celebration.

Who knows what those back home made of the eloping? But then again, Compagno's love story has never been the most conventional. She and Pete first met in their teenage years, but it was only after bumping into each other on a sidewalk in Seattle as adults that they became romantically involved.

Emily Compagno believes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is naïve

In 2022, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a controversial interview to GQ in which she argued, "...my experience here has given me a front-row seat to how deeply and unconsciously, as well as consciously, so many people in this country hate women." As you would expect, many regulars of the deeply patriotic Fox News were quick to respond on Twitter, including Sean Hannity and Senator Marsha Blackburn.

But Emily Compagno decided to air her grievances toward the Congresswoman live on national television. The star appeared to take particular umbrage with Ocasio-Cortez's millennial status, telling "Outnumbered" viewers, "This is a 32-year-old who's arguing with us and lecturing us as an ideologue on the state of the country and the state of the future. She said in that article that America would never allow a female to be elected, she said, because they hate women. And I just think that it reeks of her naivete."

Compagno went on to argue that her new nemesis should instead have been honoring the achievements of women like Maya Flores and Winsome Sears, who are, of course, at the opposite end of the political spectrum,instead of tarring the entire country with the same brush: "You would think she would be generous and humble enough to celebrate everyone's elevated position rather than just complaining about the lack of her future one." Miaow.

The co-host celebrated 900 firings

Emily Compagno did the seemingly impossible in December 2021 with her reaction to the firing of more than 900 employees of a digital mortgage lender: she rendered her Fox News colleagues speechless! The "Outnumbered" co-host caused controversy when she celebrated the news that Better.com Ceo Vishal Garg had let go of 15 percent of his Indian and American workforce over Zoom.

Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery described this impersonal approach as "classless"and argued, "[Garg is] probably a horrible person to work for." Her colleague almost reverted to her former cheerleader mode. Yes, Compagno could barely contain her glee, admitting,"I loved this!" before claiming that the redundancies were entirely deserved (via The Daily Beast).

The Californian said, "The productivity of those 900 individuals averaged two hours a day even though they were paid for eight ... I love that for 900 people, he stayed safe and he let them know that their theft was no longer tolerated. So for me, good riddance." Compagno then twisted the knife in further, describing those laid off as "snowflakes" who lacked any sense of work ethic. She also shared her support for the firing with her "Gutfeld!" pals. Understandably, the University of Washington graduate faced a backlash for her lack of empathy.

The importance of dance in Emily Compagno's life

You probably already know that Emily Compagno was once a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, and while balancing a career as a criminal defense attorney, too. But the "Outnumbered" co-host's dancing background started long before she was shaking pom-poms in the NFL.

In fact, Compagno was just three years old when she took up ballet, as she explained in Rachel Campos-Duffy and Sean Duffy's Fox News book, "All American Christmas": "As a dancer in 'The Nutcracker,' each year I performed abbreviated versions of the production in schools and elderly care facilities throughout the [San Francisco] Bay Area. I loved performing for seniors and for children ... Now, as an adult, I appreciate having had those experiences and better understand how important it was to have a connection to those groups in particular."

Compagno has maintained her interest in the art form, and the two-act Tchaikovsky piece in particular, ever since: "One of our family traditions was to attend the San Francisco Ballet's production of that Christmas classic every year, and we now take my three nieces to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's annual production," the TV host shared.

Emily Compagno called Leonardo DiCaprio a hypocrite

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (7)

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dropping every girlfriend like a hot potato the moment they turn 25 wasn't the only accusation leveled at Leonardo DiCaprio in 2022. The serial monogamist was also labeled a hypocrite for traveling on an environmentally-unfriendly super-yacht while pleading with the general public to watch their carbon footprint. And Emily Compagno was one of his loudest detractors.

While discussing a photo of the actor lounging around on the $150 million yacht near St. Barts in the Caribbean on her Fox News show "Outnumbered" (via theIndependent), Compagno filled viewers in on his luxury vehicle. "It is set to produce as much carbon sailing just seven miles as an average car does in a year. And it costs nearly three grand to fill up." The former cheerleader then turned to ex-GOP Congressman Jason Chaffetz, where she continued to call out DiCaprio's mixed messages.

Compagno said, "People are absolutely on board with learning how they can help save our planet and do good in this world. But if it's coming from a performative message or falsity, then all it does is take everyone back two steps." Bizarrely, Chaffetz seemed more concerned with the hairiness of DiCaprio's armpits than his stance on the environment.

She described Joe Biden as 'feeble'

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (8)

BiksuTong/Shutterstock

To the surprise of literally no one, Fox News' ultra-conservative regular Emily Compagno isn't exactly the biggest fan of President Joe Biden. In fact, she had some choice words about the 45th during a typically outspoken segment on "Outnumbered."

The topic of conversation on this occasion was Biden's suitability for a second term as POTUS given that he would be 86 years old when it came to an end. And Compagno certainly didn't hold back when it came to her thoughts on the matter: "The argument that, well, if the policies were awesome, we would forgive then; we wouldn't mind the stumbles and the gaffes and the crypt keeper in front of us, right?But the point is that the policies are absolutely terrible and Americans are hurting. So they're sick of the dearth of leadership and the fact that it's the cherry on top that this person can't stand up literally on his own two feet is what's so difficult for the Americans to digest." She rattled off a statistic about Americans' beliefs on term limits and emphasized her position that Biden wasn't mentally or physically up to the job. "And the fact that he is so feeble is just sort of the 'emperor's new clothes' situation where you can't deny it anymore," Compagno added.

This wasn't the first or last time that Compagno ripped into Biden. Earlier in 2022, the Californian castshameon him. Later, she accused him of being more concerned with the opinions of celebrities than the electorate.

Emily Compagno has a complicated relationship with Africa

Emily Compagno appears to have had a strong affinity with the African continent during her early career. Not only did she gain a law school internship in South Africa, but she also served as a volunteer working with orphans in Zambia, Malawi and Uganda, per SFGate.

But it's unlikely that the Fox News regular will be warmly welcomed if she ever sets foot in Kenya. In 2022, Compagno offended the entire nation with a claim she made live on "Gutfeld!" While discussing the issue of women's rights in America, the star said (via Media Matters), "What about in Kenya where pregnant women can't leave the house so they absolutely have no constructive right to vote?"

Many African outlets soon put Compagno in her place, including Kenyans.co.ke's Geoffrey Lutta, who wrote, "According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), pregnant women, the disabled, and the elderly are given special consideration during the voting process. IEBC— which is led by Wafula Chebukati— accords them a right to vote without queuing like the rest of Kenyans." Despite calls for an apology from disgruntled Kenyans, Compagno has yet to retract her inflammatory statement.

Emily Compagno isn't a fan of the Black Lives Matter movement

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (10)

Eli Wilson/Shutterstock

Like many of her Fox News colleagues, Emily Compagno seems unlikely to ever to ever join a Black Lives Matter protest march. In fact, during a segment on "Outnumbered" in 2022, the Californian called the movement's tax affairs into question, claiming that it's only a matter of time before its figureheads are investigated by the IRS.

Compagno made the controversial remarks following reports that donations from members of the public had allegedly been passed onto family members of Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of the non-profit organization. The former cheerleader argued, "... This is the tip of the iceberg because this is them complying, it's basically an audit to maintain their nonprofit status. This hasn't even touched actually the IRS civil or criminal division, but based on what we know thus far, I wouldn't hold my breath that there wouldn't be one of those investigations because I think one's coming."

And that wasn't the only criticism that Compagno leveled at BLM during the heated debate. She also accused them of ignoring certain damaging statistics, adding, "Just from this year alone, up to eight out of every ten homicide victims in the city of Chicago are young African-American men, and we have heard nothing from that national organization."

She has made an enemy out of Whoopi Goldberg

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (11)

Ron Adar/Shutterstock

Not content with making enemies out of political figures such as Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi, Emily Compagno switched the focus of her wrath to Hollywood in February 2022. And the EGOT-winning "Sister Act" star Whoopi Goldberg was her number one target.

The "Outnumbered" host was discussing the provocative claim Goldberg made on "The View,""The Holocaust isn't about race"— which the actor later issued an apology for— and the lenient response from the other side of the political field. "I just wonder, you know, where are the calls for the boycott and the cancelation from the left, because they seem to be absolutely on fire when Gina Carano put out posts equivocating Holocaust remarks where she was fired from Disney? What about the internal investigation that was launched by CBS after Sharon Osbourne's on-camera comments? We've yet, I think, to see a statement from ABC, however, on this," Compagno stated.

Compagno, who also referred to the backlashes that Roseanne Barr and Kirstie Alley have both faced, went on to add, "I do not see that same level of total offensiveness and outrage and uproar from the left because Whoopi is one of their own." Surprisingly, the equally opinionated Goldberg has yet to respond to the Fox News regular's comments.

The Fox News personality can't stand Beto O'Rourke

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (12)

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

There doesn't seem to be a political figure on the Democrat side of the spectrum that Emily Compagno hasn't torn into. But while Joe Biden is perhaps her most regular punching bag, the Californian has saved her most vitriolic response for Beto O'Rourke.

While appearing on "Outnumbered" in 2022, talk turned to the one-time presidential nominee and his interruption of the press conference Texas Governor Greg Abbott staged in the wake of the Uvalde school shootings. And Compagno certainly didn't hold back, saying of O'Rourke, "He's a performative clown. He's reprehensible. He's a joke. I don't want to give him any more airtime. He's not worth it. He's a waste of flesh."

The politician had confronted Abbott to criticize his lack of action on gun control. But Compagno believes that O'Rourke was wrong for calling for action and daring to suggest that prayers and thoughts are no longer enough. She claimed, "The mayor of Uvalde also said it best. He said, 'You're out of line. Leave the auditorium. I cannot believe you are a sick son of a b**** who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.' That's unfortunately exactly what we get by that despicable person."

Emily Compagno had fighter pilot ambitions

It takes nerves of steel to tell the highly opinionated Emily Compagno"no." But that's exactly what the U.S. Air Force did, and repeatedly so, before she became America's number one attorney-cheerleader-news personality. Yes, back in the day, the "Crimes That Changed America" host harbored ambitions of becoming a fighter pilot. Unfortunately for her, she was denied the opportunity due to something she had no control over.

Writing forFox Newsabout her family's military history, Compagno explained, "I went to Space Camp and Aviation Challenge, the Air Force Academy's Summer Scientific Seminar, and secured any related internship I could find— and was told again and again I was too small to be a fighter pilot." Undeterred, the former Oakland Raiderette enrolled in the USAF ROTC while studying at the University of Washington. But after two years, she was once again told that her height was too much of a barrier.

Compagno also recalled how her interest in the military was sparked: "My dad was a commander in theU.S. Navywith three daughters— you can imagine the tight ship that was our family household! Before I could go out with friends I had to get my room 'ready for inspection,' and a good chunk of our family bonding time besides the kids' activities were definitely all the chores we did. Which I loved."

Emily Compagno entertained troops in Iraq

Emily Compagno might not have seen any military action as a member of the U.S. Air Force. But she did get to spend a fortnight in Baghdad entertaining the troops. Yes, back in her cheerleading days, the Californian and four other NFL pom-pom shakers headed to Iraq where she gained a deeper understanding of what it is like to fight for your country.

In a piece on her family history for Fox News, Compagno recalled, "It blew me away how isolated these soldiers were — and how young they were. And I was humbled and impacted by the reasons they shared for their signing up, which included family hardship and desperation."

The political science graduate, who served as a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, believes that her routines helped such men with their homesickness: "The primary reason for our being there was to boost morale and show them how America cared— to give these brave soldiers a bit of home, a bit of normalcy, in their chaotic world." Sadly, one of the soldiers, Sgt. Timothy David, died, while another, Lt. Col. Karcher, lost his legs after their vehicle drove over an IED.

Emily Compagno is a horror movie buff

You might imagine that having to share a home network with Tucker Carlson would provide you with enough scares to last a lifetime. But no, it seems like Emily Compagno likes nothing better after a hard day's blasting Democrats on Fox News than settling down to a horror movie.

So what are her ultimate fright flicks? Well, during a 2021 appearance on "The Fox Top 5" podcast alongside "Fox Across America" host Jimmy Failla, the Californian listed "The Blair Witch Project," "The Exorcist," "Devil," "The Watcher in the Woods" and "Flowers in the Attic."

A year later, Compagno discussed how her love of horror movie stemmed from her childhood sleepovers while appearing on "Gutfeld!." The one-time cheerleader explained that she and her pals used to love heading straight for their local video store's R-rated section and choosing scare fests such as "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Seventh Sign." Compagno also revealed that she and her friends now do a similar thing each Sunday night, only this time using streaming services rather than video rental stores.

The Untold Truth Of Emily Compagno - Nicki Swift (2024)

FAQs

Did Emily Compagno used to be a cheerleader? ›

Former NFL cheerleader for the Oakland Raiderettes [2007 - 2010]. Former criminal defense attorney. Fox News Co-Host. Served as a managing attorney and (Acting) Director at the Social Security Administration from 2010 to 2014.

Is Emily Compagno married to Jon Skoog? ›

Skoog's expertise as a senior consultant for a microsoft certified gold. After living as a couple for some years, rumors of their separation began to spread. The truth is that emily compagno is already married and has been in her marriage to peter riley since 2024.

What happened to Emily Compagno? ›

Emily Compagno currently serves as a co-host of 'Outnumbered' on FOX News Channel.

Who is Emily Compagno engaged to now? ›

Peter Riley is Emily Compagno's current husband. He is a former data analyst who now works as a real estate agent. The pair first met in high school, but they started dating years later after they reconnected in Seattle, Washington. They dated for several years before they tied the knot on September 13, 2017.

How much does Fox pay Emily Compagno? ›

Compagno also works as a sports analyst, where she is paid $800 USD per hour. Compagno has signed a five-year contract with Fox News worth $15 million USD, bringing her annual salary to $3 million. She used her Fox earnings to buy two luxury apartments in New York in 2024, according to Forbes.

Is Dana Perino's husband ok? ›

Does Emily Compagno have a sister? ›

Compagno was born in Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Oakland California, where her father was director of the blood bank. She was raised in El Cerrito, California with her two sisters, by her parents Katherine (née Bertsch, of English, Bohemian, and German descent) and John Compagno, of Italian descent from Sicily.

What nationality is Emily on the Five? ›

Profile summary
Full nameEmily Rose Compagno
NationalityAmerican
EthnicityMixed (White, Italian, German)
ReligionChristian
SexualityStraight
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Jun 17, 2022

Does Emily Compagno have kids? ›

Emily Compagno, the accomplished television host, and her husband, Peter Reilly, share a beautiful journey of love and companionship. However, they have not been blessed with children.

Who is Pete Riley? ›

Pete Riley (born 26 February 1969 in Liverpool, England) is an English acoustic rock singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer of the band Treehouse.

How much does Emily Compagno weigh? ›

Emily Compagno Biography & Profile Summary
Full NameEmily Rose Compagno
Height (centimeters)169
Weight (pounds)121
Weight (kilograms)55
Eye ColorHazel
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Jul 14, 2023

When was Emily Compagno a cheerleader? ›

Emily Compagno isn't your typical Raiderette. A year before she joined the Oakland Raiders' popular cheerleading squad in April 2007, she received her law degree at the University of San Francisco and passed the California Bar exam.

Who is Katie on the five married to? ›

Katie Pavlich
EducationUniversity of Arizona, BA
Occupation(s)Journalist, blogger, political commentator, author
SpouseGavy Friedson (m. 2017)
Websitekatiepavlich.com
2 more rows

What kind of muscle car does Emily Compagno have? ›

Emily Compagno, Mach 1 owner | '71 - '73 Vintage Ford Mustang Forum.

Who was the singer that used to be a cheerleader? ›

Paula Julie Abdul (born June 19, 1962) is an American singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and television personality. She began her career as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 18 and later became the head choreographer for the Laker Girls, where she was discovered by the Jacksons.

What celebrity was a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? ›

Jill Marie Jones. Jones donned the iconic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders uniform from 1993 to 1995. The Texas native modeled before making her acting debut in 2000. She portrayed Antoinette “Toni” Marie Childress Garrett on Girlfriends from 2000 to 2020.

Which actress was a cheerleader in high school? ›

Sandra Bullock was a cheerleader in high school, and says she has even saved her uniform as a keepsake. Comedian Steve Martin spent time as a cheerleader in high school, too.

What Hollywood male actor was a cheerleader in college? ›

Iconic actor Jimmy Stewart was also head cheerleader during his tenure at Princeton.

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