The lawsuit also contains bombshell allegations raised by a second woman, former Fox News employee Cathy Areu, who says she was sexually harassed by a number of channel figures. They include star anchor Sean Hannity, controversial host Tucker Carlson and media commentator Howard Kurtz.
The prosecution’s most serious allegations concern former Fox News employee Jennifer Eckhart. The lawsuit accuses Henry of manipulating and treating Eckhart when she was 24, asking her to be her “sex slave” and “little whore” and threatening her with retaliation if she didn’t obey.
The lawsuit alleges that Henry sexually assaulted her on Fox News property and raped her while she was powerless and held in metal handcuffs at a hotel used by the chain to house visiting employees.
In its statement, Fox News said Eckhart could pursue his claims directly with Henry “because Fox News has already acted quickly … and Mr. Henry is no longer employed by the network.”
Catherine Foti, Henry’s lawyer, said in a statement that “the evidence in this case will show that Ms Eckhart initiated and fully encouraged a consensual relationship.” She said Henry was eager to present his own evidence, including “graphic photos”.
Eckhart said she hoped her decision to take action “will translate into positive change for the women of Fox and for all victims in the workplace.”
The complaint, written by prominent anti-discrimination lawyers Douglas Wigdor and Michael Willemin, also states that in March 2018, Hannity humiliated Areu, who was a regular guest on her show, while she was on set and in front of the entire studio team. .
He reportedly threw $ 100 in cash on his desk on the set and began urging the men on the crew to take Areu to a date at Del Friscos. “Who wants to take her on a date?” Hannity cried, at his mortification, said the lawsuit.
The costume reproduces a photograph of a stash of money and a cigarette on a studio desk that he said was the money Hannity threw away as part of his misogynist ruse.
Areu also alleges in the lawsuit that in December 2018, Carlson, at the end of her Tucker Carlson Tonight show she had appeared on, made suggestive comments to her, claiming that he would be left alone in his hotel room without a wife. nor children.
“Without a doubt, Mr. Carlson was investigating whether Ms. Areu was interested in sex,” the lawsuit argues, accusing the host of retaliation against the complainant when she refused his advances.
Another allegation of sexual harassment is raised by Areu against Kurtz from July 2019.
In a statement released on Monday, Fox News said it had conducted a “full independent investigation” by an outside law firm into Areu’s allegations against Carlson, Hannity and Kurtz and found them to be “false, patently frivolous and completely devoid of everything deserves. ”
Fox News has been marred by allegations of sexual harassment against senior male figures for years and has been repeatedly accused of leading a work culture that condones sexual misconduct. The late Roger Ailes was forced to resign from the channel he founded in 2016 after 23 women accused him of sexual harassment.
The lawsuit challenges the line advanced by Fox News that she has cleaned up her act since Ailes left. He says: “Fox News would have the public believe that this is a different place from Fox News which was run by disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes. Unfortunately, it’s actually worse. “