More trouble for Fox News hosts.
Shortly after Fox News co-anchor Ed Henry was faced with allegations of sexual misconduct, to which he denied, FOX News and several anchors including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity find themselves named in a new lawsuit.
The new suit, filed by former FOX Business Network associate producer Jennifer Eckhart, alleges that the network did little to address reports of sex trafficking, sexual assault and harassment and retaliation perpetrated by it’s on-air personalities, according to TV Line.
[RELATED: Longtime Fox News’ Co-Anchor Ed Henry Is Denying Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Him]
“It is widely documented in the public record that Fox News has not only cultivated and fostered sexual harassment and misconduct, but has consistently accepted and rewarded it,” says the lawsuit filed by Eckhart and former FNC guest Cathy Areu, as reported by Deadline.
It continues, “Fox News continues to protect and reward perpetrators of sexual harassment and refuses to take accountability for putting such persons in positions of power from which they can subject women to sexual misconduct, sexual assault and, in the case of Ms. Eckhart, rape. Some of the names in leadership may have changed since Roger Ailes’ regime, but Fox News’ institutional apathy towards sexual misconduct has not.”
Areu alleges that Henry along with hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz sexually harrassed and retaliated against her, claiming Hannity made her feel uncomfortable when threw $100 bill on set and shouted for someone to take her on a date.
“Mr. Henry was far from the only Fox News anchor who subjected Ms. Areu to sexual harassment. She was also subjected to inappropriate sexual harassment and retaliation by Mr. Hannity, Mr. Carlson, Mr. Kurtz and Gianno Caldwell,” the lawsuit reads.
Fox News released a statement regarding the charges.
“Based on the findings of a comprehensive independent investigation conducted by an outside law firm, including interviews with numerous eyewitnesses, we have determined that all of Cathy Areu’s claims against FOX News, including its management as well as its hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity & Howard Kurtz and its contributor Gianno Caldwell, are false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit,” the statement reads. “We take all claims of harassment, misconduct and retaliation seriously, promptly investigating them and taking immediate action as needed — in this case, the appropriate action based on our investigation is to defend vigorously against these baseless allegations. Ms. Areu and Jennifer Eckhart can pursue their claims against Ed Henry directly with him, as FOX News already took swift action as soon as it learned of Ms. Eckhart’s claims on June 25 and Mr. Henry is no longer employed by the network.”
Ed Henry’s attorney also responded to the claims.
“The Me Too movement has helped to bring to light a number of injustices in our society, and everyone that has suffered deserves to be heard,” the statement read. “This is not one of those cases. The evidence in this case will demonstrate that Ms. Eckhart initiated and completely encouraged a consensual relationship. Ed Henry looks forward to presenting actual facts and evidence, which will contradict the fictional accounts contained in the complaint. That evidence includes graphic photos and other aggressively suggestive communications that Ms. Eckhart sent to Mr. Henry.”
On Wednesday (July 1,) Henry was fired from his co-anchor spot on the program America’s Newsroom after Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News Media President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace announced that there had been a complaint of “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace.”