Former Fox News employee Jennifer Eckhart filed a lawsuit against Fox News and former network anchor Ed Henry on Monday before a federal court in New York, accusing him of raping her.
The complaint states that Henry was "groomed, psychologically manipulated, and (she) was forced to have a sexual relationship with him, and that he sexually assaulted her on office property and raped her in a hotel if she did not voluntarily do so. "
In a statement in Henry's name, his lawyer Catherine Foti said evidence would show that Eckhart "initiated and fully nurtured a friendly relationship."
In a separate statement, a spokeswoman for Fox News, Eckhart, and co-plaintiff Cathy Areu, a network guest, said they could pursue their claims against Henry directly with him, as the network "quickly took action as soon as it learned of Ms. Eckhart's allegations on June 25th and Mr. Henry is no longer on the network. "
Rupert Murdochs Fox Corp.'s cable communications network announced on July 1 that he had released Henry after receiving a complaint from a former employee's lawyer and had hired a law firm to investigate.
Monday's complaint alleged that the network knew that Henry committed sexual misconduct in early 2017.
Fox News spokeswoman said in a later statement on Monday: "Prior to Jennifer Eckhart's statement on June 25, 2020, Fox News had no sexual harassment claims against Ed Henry."
Areu claims that Henry sent her "a lot of wildly inappropriate sexual images and videos" and suggested that he would support her career if she had sex with him.
Areu also claims that Fox News sexually molested anchor Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, moderator Howard Kurtz, and political analyst Gianno Caldwell and retaliated against Areu.
When asked about the allegations in the lawsuit, Foti said, "Ed Henry looks forward to providing factual evidence and evidence that conflict with the fictional representations contained in the complaint."
In its statement, the network said that based on an investigation by an outside law firm that included interviews with numerous witnesses, it was found that Areus' allegations against the network, whose management, Carlson, Hannity, Kurtz, and Caldwell, were "false, manifestly frivolous, and completely empty "are of some merit. "
Reuters was unable to reach Carlson, Hannity, Kurtz, or Caldwell immediately, but Fox News said his statement was an answer on behalf of all four men. Eckhart was an Associate Producer at Fox Business Network.
In 2016, Roger Ailes resigned as Fox News chairman and managing director after former Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment.
The network agreed to pay $ 20 million to settle Carlson's lawsuit.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)