New Lawsuit Accuses Many Big Names At Fox Of Sexual Harassment

Tucker Carlson And Sean Hannity Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

July 21, 2020 Updated July 22, 2020

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Rich Polk/Taylor Hill/Getty

Fox News is facing yet another lawsuit that alleges sexual harassment at the network, and this time, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are named

One of the biggest scandals that kicked off the Me Too movement took place at Fox News, after anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against the network’s CEO, Roger Ailes, to accuse him of sexual harassment (and inspire an incredible movie about the scandal). Gretchen Carlson may have been the first, but her bravery inspired other women to come forward, eventually resulting in the ousting of a disgraced Ailes, along with longtime Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly, who was also fired after allegations against him. Women all over the world started to speak up about the harassment and violence we regularly face at work, and the Me Too movement was born.

Unfortunately, the movement is far from over. Fox News, the workplace that started it all, apparently still isn’t a safe place for women to work — at least, according to a new lawsuit that alleges ongoing sexual harassment from a number of big names at the network, including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and others.

The lawsuit was filed in New York Federal Court this week, and it alleges sexual misconduct among some of Fox’s biggest names. The first plaintiff, Jennifer Eckhardt, is a former Fox Business producer who alleges she was raped by Ed Henry, a former host who was fired from the network on July 1 after an internal investigation into rape and harassment allegations against him.

“In reality, Fox News knew that Mr. Henry had engaged in sexual misconduct as far back as early 2017,” the lawsuit reads. “At that time, when Fox News was conducting a company-wide investigation into issues of sexual harassment, multiple women came forward to complain that Mr. Henry had engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct towards them.”

On Monday, Eckhart released a statement on social media.

“I stand for all victims who have been mistreated, harassed, assaulted, and even worse, at the hands of those in power, and the institutions that continue to support them,” she wrote. “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.”

The second plaintiff in the new lawsuit is Cathy Areu, a former Fox network guest who appeared as the “Liberal Sherpa” on Tucker Carlson Tonight. She alleges she was also sexually harassed by Henry, but also a number of other powerful men at the network. She says Sean Hannity offered his staff and crew $100 to take her on a date, and that after that incident, she was “hardly ever, if ever at all” brought back onto his show. She also says that after taping her final show in 2018, the tech crew refused to take off her earpiece so they could keep her onset long enough for Tucker Carlson to invite her to his hotel room.

The lawsuit is asking for a jury trial to hear sexual harassment complaints against Fox News, Ed Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Howard Kurtz as defendants.

Update: Fox News has issued a 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,” the network told Scary Mommy. “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.”