Suit Against Former Fox News Anchor Ed Henry Alleges Rape
NEW YORK: Former Fox News employee Jennifer Eckhart filed a lawsuit on Monday in a New York federal court against Fox News and former network anchor Ed Henry, accusing him of raping her.
The most explosive claim in the suit is Eckhart’s allegation that Henry “psychologically manipulated and coerced” her into having a sexual relationship with him. She said that when she would not comply voluntarily, “he sexually assaulted her on office property, and raped her at a hotel where Fox News frequently lodged its visiting employees.”
In a statement on Henry’s behalf, his lawyer Catherine Foti said evidence would show that Eckhart “initiated and completely encouraged a consensual relationship.”
In a separate statement, a Fox News spokeswoman said Eckhart and co-plaintiff Cathy Areu, a network guest, can pursue their claims against Henry directly with him, as the network “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.”
The cable news network, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp, said on July 1 it had dismissed Henry after receiving a complaint from the lawyer of a former employee and retained a law firm to investigate. Monday’s complaint alleges the network knew Henry had engaged in sexual misconduct as far back as early 2017.
The Fox News spokeswoman said in a later statement on Monday: “There were not sexual harassment claims against Ed Henry at Fox News prior to Jennifer Eckhart’s claim on June 25, 2020.” Areu alleges Henry sent her “a slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and videos” and suggested he would assist her career if she had sex with him.
The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court by Jennifer Eckhart, who worked at the network from 2014 to 2020; and Cathy Areu, an occasional unpaid guest on the network.
(With Media Reports).