SCOOP: Former CNN Commentator Scottie Nell Hughes has accused Fox Business host Charles Payne of sexual harassment. Story TK on HuffPost. pic.twitter.com/lO9odZZHlV— Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 6, 2017
Charles Payne, a Fox Business Network host, has been suspended while sexual harassment allegations against him are being investigated by the company’s law firm. UPDATED with new information.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story today. Payne has denied sexually harassing Hughes but he did admit to a lengthy extramarital affair with her:
Charles Payne, who hosts “Making Money” on the network and appears on various other programs, has acknowledged what he described as a three-year “romantic relationship” with a married female political analyst who frequently appeared on Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel from 2013 to 2016. Payne admitted to the extramarital affair in a statement to the National Enquirer published Wednesday that included an apology to his wife, children and friends.
The woman was never an employee of Fox News, but appeared as a guest across numerous Fox News and Fox Business Network programs with the hope of becoming a paid contributor. She has told her lawyer, who is preparing a legal complaint against Fox News and Payne, that she stayed in the relationship because she believed he would help her chances of landing a position at the network, according to the sources.
Instead, the woman is alleging, after she ended the affair her appearances were drastically reduced, the sources say.
The Los Angeles Times withheld the name of the woman but journalist Yashar Ali identified her.
In April, we reported that Payne was being sued for collecting a $50,000 book advance and never turning in a manuscript. Prior to that, in 1999, Payne ponied up a civil penalty of $25,000, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of recommending stocks without disclosing that he had received payment from those companies to promote their stocks.
UPDATE: Someone in Ali's Twitter feed noted that Hughes is married and identifies herself as an evangelical Christian:
She *is* married. And a self-described evangelical Christian. pic.twitter.com/KKLTrDSoN5— ))) Майкл Флинн ((( (@Torgo3K) July 6, 2017
UPDATE: Huffington Post has more details. They suggest to me that former Fox News co-president Bill Shine barred Hughes from the network because her affair with Payne became too obvious:
Payne and Hughes’ affair was widely known within the confines of the Fox Business world but a well-kept secret otherwise. Payne and Hughes, according to multiple sources who worked at the network at the time, made little effort to hide their affair. On a company trip in May 2015 to Las Vegas, where Payne was hosting his Fox Business show, “Making Money With Charles Payne,” at the annual Money Show conference, they appeared to be sharing a room and had disappeared at one point for hours, leaving their colleagues behind. Payne’s wife did not join him on that trip.
Hughes also attended a birthday party for Payne at his home in late 2015. Their interaction at that party, according to four sources that worked at the network at the time, led Payne’s wife to feel uncomfortable enough to contact her husband’s boss and ally, Shine.
Shine then pulled Hughes off the air, according to multiple sources. Hughes has not appeared on Fox News or Fox Business since then, which has confounded some media insiders because her passionate support of Trump would make her a natural fit for the pro-Trump cable network.
In short, this sounds to me more like caddish, hypocritical and detestable behavior more than sexual harassment. But I'm not a lawyer.
Call out Hannity on Twitter about the moral decline at Fox “News” Channel.
The Fox “News” suits must fire this fool immediately, and cancel his show. Otherwise, all of talk radio will be hearing about the dark secrets at Fox “News” Channel.
That useless clown, Bill Shine knew about the evil stuff going around at this demonic network. He kept quiet to protect his own skin. We are glad he got fired from the network. Good riddance.
NOTE TO CHUCKY
Good riddance to a waste of payroll, you sad excuse for a man. Now, the whole world will know everything about you, and we hope your wife leaves your sorry, fat azz.
FYI, unless things have changed dramatically, I think there are no unpaid TV appearances for commenters, as opposed to newsmakers. I think the union insists on a basic payment (including for non-members). No idea how much that would be anymore, but some hundreds of dollars. So not strictly unpaid, but an official “contributor” gig would be more, and also include some minimum number of appearances over the life of the contract.
Their affair supposedly lasted three years. I guess it’s possible she stuck with him all that time only because he got her unpaid TV hits that she hoped would one day earn her money and that she was banned from Fox out of retaliation for her ending the relationship.
One clue for me will be whether she gets a lawyer and, if so, who. I’d think that if she had a real case, she’d have a lawyer already and have filed a lawsuit.
OTOH, I’d like to think Paul, Weiss (a firm that once employed me, BTW) gave Fox at least some evidence that her claim was credible before Fox went ahead and suspended Payne.
So my Spidey senses are tingling but I don’t know all the details and am keeping an open mind.
I want to make sure I have my talking points down correctly.
Ellen, I doubt this would have come up if Hughes didn’t have some story about Payne having promised her a contributor slot if she dallied with him. And honestly, I can’t imagine why she would without such inducements. He’s not exactly studly.
As I understand it, from the HuffPost article, Hughes claims that Fox retaliated against her and blackballed her from the air after the network learned about her relationship.
I’m not a lawyer, either, but I don’t see how that is sexual harassment unless she claims something like Payne got her banned in retaliation for breaking off the affair.
Tawdry, yes, but unless there are facts yet to come out, I don’t see how Fox doesn’t have the right to decide that someone’s off-air conduct precludes them from appearing as a guest. Or, to put it another way, I don’t see why her sexual misconduct should protect her from not being a guest.
On top of all that, I feel certain that if this was a Democrat or African American alleging discrimination, Hughes would be the first to say a business has the right to make such a decision, that it’s time to stop playing the victim and take personal responsibility.
But, as we know, personal responsibility is always for other people, not the right wingers who get caught doing the wrong thing!
Oh, that’s easy.
“Consensual” implies “consent” between two adults, which is NOT sexual harassment — UNLESS:
- one of them is a Democrat (see Clinton, Bill)
- one of them, the male, is African American, and has the consensual relationship with a Caucasian woman (see Payne, Charles and Cain, Herman)
ONLY in one or both of the above scenarios can a consensual sexual relationship be magically converted by rightwingers into sexual harassment, and be grounds for impeachment/removal/firing.
Hope that cleared it up. :)
@ David T: “What a blow to his ego to learn that she suffered him only to get a paying gig at Fox.”
Who knew that a woman employed by CNN in reality wanted F-O-X more than she liked BBC . . .
What’s next? Tucker Carlson is found in bed with an orange orangutan? 🤣
Dunno what you were thinking, Chuck — you’re black, so, diddling with a white female not your wife will NEVER be accepted by Fox viewers, no matter how much of a rightwingnut you are. Just ask Herman Cain.