A big bombshell hit the news sphere on Monday when top show hosts, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and recently fired Ed Henry, were slapped with a sexual misconduct lawsuit.
Fox Comes Under Fire
A former Fox Business producer is at the center of accusing former Fox News correspondent Ed Henry of raping her while they both were employed at the news network. In the lawsuit, it claims that Henry “performed sadistic acts on her without her consent that left her injured, bruised and battered with bloody wrists” while she was handcuffed, according to CBS News.
Another plaintiff, Cathy Areu in the same lawsuit, brought allegations of harassment against popular Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Howard Kurtz.
“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 a sex trafficking, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from former Fox Business Network associate producer Jennifer Eckhart and previous FNC guest Cathy Areu filed.
The details of the lawsuit include allegations that Henry tried to “groom” the then producer, Jennifer Eckhart. This was in 2014 when Henry was Fox News’ chief White House correspondent and was married. She also says he attempted to “coerce” her into a sexual relationship with him.
Eckhart claims she dismissed his advances, which is when he supposedly, according to the lawsuit, “sexually assaulted her on office property, and raped her at a hotel where Fox News frequently lodged its visiting employees.”
“My decision to speak out was not an easy one, but I refuse to let fear of retaliation, victim shaming and further attacks intimidate me into remaining silent. I am hopeful that my decision to file this action will result in positive change for women at Fox, and for all victims in the workplace,” Eckhart posted on Instagram Monday.
The Lawsuit Targets Top Hosts
Allegations don’t stop at Henry, hosts Hannity and Tucker have come under fire for years over their conservative beliefs, but now they are facing controversy for different reasons.
They are trying to “Kavanaugh” Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
— samanthamarika (@samanthamarika1) July 21, 2020
According to Areu’s allegations, Hannity allegedly put $100 on a desk in 2018 and “began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date.”
She also claims that Carlson told her he would be at a hotel “without any wife or kids.”
“Without question, Mr. Carlson was probing to see whether Ms. Areu was interested in a sexual relationship,” the lawsuit alleges. “Ms. Areu awkwardly sidestepped Mr. Carlson’s advances and declined to spend the night at his hotel.”
Fox Ademently Denies Lawsuit Claims
Do these claims hold weight?
I just realized that part of allegation against Tucker Carlson is that he took off his jacket in front of a woman, who apparently was so traumatized that now she needs millions of dollars to heal her wounds. This is the most frivolous harassment claim I've ever seen in my life.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) July 21, 2020
According to Fox News, it states adamantly that the plaintiffs’ claims are inaccurate.
Fox issued this statement:
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.