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Suit Accuses Fox News Stars of Sexual Harassment, Rape

Former staff member says Ed Henry attacked and battered her
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2020 5:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – A federal lawsuit filed Monday by two women accuses Ed Henry of rape and other Fox News stars of widespread sexual harassment. The allegations by Cathy Areu and Jennifer Eckhart, a former associate producer, involve host Sean Hannity, host Tucker Carlson, journalist Howard Kurtz, and contributor Gianno Caldwell. Fox News said Monday that an investigation had cleared everyone but Henry—who has been fired—and that the network would fight the suit. Fox suggested the women take their case separately to Henry, a former chief national correspondent, CNBC reports. A lawyer for Henry issued a statement saying that Eckhart pursued a relationship with Henry that was consensual. The suit, filed in Manhattan, alleges violations of federal sex-trafficking laws and offenses prohibited by state and city human rights laws, including gender-motivated violence.

Eckhart's suit says Henry "groomed, psychologically manipulated and coerced" her into beginning a sexual relationship with him, per the Daily Beast. When she wouldn't agree, the suit says, Henry "sexually assaulted her on office property, and raped her at a hotel" where Fox put up visiting employees. Henry performed "sadistic acts on her without her consent that left her injured, bruised and battered with bloody wrists," the suit says, adding that Eckhart was handcuffed when she was raped. Areu, who was a regular guest on Fox News, said she was sexually harassed by Henry, as well as by the other men. Hannity once announced on his set that he would give $100 to anyone who'd take her out for drinks, she said. Carlson and Kurtz cut back her appearances on their shows, Areu says, after she declined to meet them at hotels. Fox called the allegations "baseless." (Read more Fox News stories.)

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