Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry is accused of raping a former employee at the network and sexually assaulting another woman in a lawsuit that also names two of the top on-air personalities at the network.
As The Daily Mail reported, a lawsuit filed Monday in a New York federal court alleges that Henry handcuffed former Fox Business associated producer Jennifer Eckhart and raped her in a hotel room after she alleges that he “groomed, psychologically manipulated and coerced” into a sexual relationship. The suit claims that Henry referred to her as his “sex slave” and that when she would not comply with him, he sexually assaulted her on office property and raped her at a hotel where the network regularly lodges visiting employees.
Eckhart also claimed that Henry took nude pictures of her without her consent while she was restrained in the handcuffs, and that he laughed at her as she pleaded with him to stop and delete the photos from his phone. The suit claims that these pictures were part of a plot to keep her silent.
Lawyers representing Eckhart also included a series of text messages in which the former anchor graphically described sex acts and pushing boundaries.
“F*ck you and your safe word,” one message read. “You will know when I’m done.”
Cathy Areu, who regularly appeared on various shows as a guest, also alleged that Henry sexually harassed her, as did anchors Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and journalists Howard Kurtz and Gianno Caldwell.
As The Daily Beast noted, Henry was fired earlier this month after what the company called sexual misconduct.
Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who announced the suit on Monday, said the allegations fit past claims that sexual misconduct was prevalent within the company and that leadership did nothing to address the atmosphere or bring an end to it.
“What this lawsuit reveals is that today’s Fox News is the same old Fox News,” Wigdor said, adding that while some of those in top leadership positions have changed since Roger Ailes, the company’s “institutional apathy towards sexual misconduct has not.”
As The Inquisitr reported, such allegations have been lodged a number of times in the past against prominent on-air personalities. Former anchor Bill O’Reilly reportedly paid a total of $32 million to settle harassment allegations that had been lodged by a number of different women.
A lawyer representing Henry has denied the allegations filed in the civil suit, saying that he engaged in a consensual relationship with Eckhart.
Editor’s note: Fox News reached out to The Inquisitr with the following 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.”