Ex-Fox News Anchor Ed Henry Accused Of Rape In New Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday accuses several current and former Fox News personalities of sexual misconduct, including a sexual assault allegation against former anchor Ed Henry.
- Mediaite reported that the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and “documents a sweeping set of allegations against several of the conservative-leaning network’s top talent and against the network itself.”
- Filed by attorney Douglas Wigdor on behalf of Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu, the complaint alleges that Fox News supported and promoted Henry “despite the fact” that the network “was well aware of Mr. Henry’s inappropriate sexual misconduct.”
- The complaint also alleges that Eckhart was subjected to retaliation after coming forward.
“Fox News was trying to avoid taking accountability for what actually happened; namely, that one of its most prominent on-air personalities — with a history of multiple sexual harassment complaints — sexually assaulted and raped Ms. Eckhart,” a press release obtained by Law&Crime alleges.
- The lawsuit also claims that Henry sent Eckhart “myriad wildly inappropriate, disturbing and sadistic sexual images and videos and repeatedly suggested that he would help her obtain an anchor position with Fox News if she engaged in sexual acts with him.”
Ms. Eckhart’s counsel described to Fox News, in graphic and specific detail, how Mr. Henry groomed, psychologically manipulated and coerced Ms. Eckhart into having a sexual relationship with him, and that, when she would not comply voluntarily, he sexually assaulted her on office property, and raped her at a hotel where Fox News frequently lodged its visiting employees, thereby facilitating, whether knowingly or unknowingly, Mr. Henry’s conduct.
Ms. Eckhart’s counsel also explained to Fox News, in graphic and specific detail,that Ms. Eckhart was violently raped while helpless and restrained in metal handcuffs, as Mr.Henry preformed sadistic acts on her without her consent that left her injured, bruised and battered with bloody wrists.
- Areu was sexually harassed by “multiple other men at Fox News, including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Howard Kurtz and Gianno Caldwell, according to the allegations.
- The lawsuit claims that in 2018, “Carlson propositioned Areu for a sexual encounter and that he retaliated against her when she declined,” Mediate wrote.
- As for Hannity, the complaint includes the following:
Ms. Areu was a relatively regular face on The Sean Hannity Show until March 8, 2018. On that day, Mr. Hannity, on set and in front of the entire studio crew – and completely unsolicited – threw $100 on the set desk. He then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks at Del Friscos. He repeatedly yelled, “who wants to take her on a date?” “Take her on a date to Del Friscos.”
- “Areu was completely mortified and made clear that she was incredibly uncomfortable with Mr. Hannity’s misogynistic behavior by quietly pleading with one of her friends in the room to accept the money so that the humiliation would end,” the complaint continues.
In response to the lawsuit, a Fox News spokesperson said:
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.
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.