Fox News has been hit with another sexual misconduct lawsuit, this time naming hosts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the recently fired Ed Henry. The sex trafficking, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation lawsuit was filed Monday morning, on behalf of former Fox Business associate producer Jennifer Eckhart and network guest Cathy Areu.
Eckhart claims she was raped by former White House chief correspondent Ed Henry, who was fired in June as a result of the charge. Eckhart says Fox News knew Henry had engaged in sexual misconduct as early as 2017. Areu, the co-plaintiff, accuses Henry of sending her a "slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and messages," and accuses Fox News of subjecting women to a hostile work environment.
"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. Nevertheless, Fox News would have the public believe that it is a different place from the Fox News that was run by former disgraced Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Unfortunately, it is actually worse," the suit reads.
As for the allegations against Hannity and Carlson, Areu says Hannity once threw $100 his desk and called for the men nearby to take her on a date. She also says she refused advances from Carlson as well as from Howard Kurtz, after which, she was invited to appear on their shows much less often.
When reached for comment by TV Guide, Fox submitted a statement that read, "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."