A federal lawsuit filed today makes jaw-dropping BDSM rape allegations against Ed Henry and sexual harassment accusations against Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz by former Fox employees Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu.
Deadline has a nice summary:
Tucker Carlson is returning to Fox News Channel tonight after a short vacation, but along with the cabler newser itself, Sean Hannity and the now fired Ed Henry, the top rated host also finds himself in the center of a whole new legal spotlight of alleged misconduct at the now Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace-run outlet.
“It is widely documented in the public record that Fox News has not only cultivated and fostered sexual harassment and misconduct, but has consistently accepted and rewarded it,” says a sex trafficking, sexual Harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu filed today against the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlet, its former reporter and some of its biggest and loudest primetime hosts. “Nevertheless, Fox News would have the public believe that it is a different place from the Fox News that was run by former disgraced Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes,” the jury trial action adds, noting the many accusations against the axed and now deceased former Mike Douglas Show producer.
The events recounted in the lawsuit are sickening.
Jennifer Eckhart’s allegations
According to the complaint, Henry asked Eckhart to be his “sex slave” and his “little whore,” and threatened punishment and retaliation if Ms. Eckhart did not comply with his sexual demands.
Ms. Eckhart’s counsel also explained to Fox News, in graphic and specific detail, that Ms. Eckhart was violently raped while helpless and restrained in metal handcuffs, as Mr. Henry preformed sadistic acts on her without her consent that left her injured, bruised and battered with bloody wrists.
Prior to violently assaulting Ms. Eckhart, Mr. Henry took photos of Ms. Eckhart on his iPhone while laughing, as Ms. Eckhart pleaded with Mr. Henry to stop, and to remove the handcuffs, and to delete the naked pictures he took of her without her consent. Ms. Eckhart believes that Mr. Henry used those photos he took of her while naked, helpless and restrained in handcuffs as an intimidation tactic to silence her, and to be filed away and retained for purposes of blackmail that could destroy her career.
Thus, to be clear, Mr. Henry was not terminated because he engaged in sexual misconduct – Fox News was willing to support and promote him knowing that he had engaged in sexual misconduct. Rather, Mr. Henry’s employment was terminated because Fox News realized that it was on the precipice of a public relations nightmare and wanted to get out ahead of this suit and be able to claim that it had done the right thing. It had not.
(I previously posted that Fox had been warned about Henry as far back as 2017.)
The complaint also alleges that Eckhart, who started at Fox as an assistant to Fox Business' Liz Claman, was “belittled and mistreated” by her.
Cathy Areu’s allegations
Areu’s allegations are less horrific but taken as a whole, reveal a picture of Fox men feeling entitled to harass and abuse women. Areu claims her hits on the Hannity, Carlson and Kurtz shows were eliminated or drastically reduced in retaliation for her rejection of their advances.
Areu’s allegations against Ed Henry
According to the legal complaint, Henry sent Ms. Areu a slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and messages – which are in her possession – throughout the first half of this year.” They include:
- A “closeup” photograph of a woman’s vagina being “clamped” closed by four clothespins;
- A photograph of an individual wearing a mask that has a large penis in lieu of a nose;
- A photograph of a vibrator faux smoking a cigarette;
- A photograph of a woman’s rear end and vagina modified to include the features of a bunny rabbit (this was sent for Easter);
- A video of a woman running across the room and jumping towards a camera – her skirt lifts up and the video ends with a closeup of her vagina; and
- A video entitled “Fastest Interview ... candidate selected in 3 seconds.” In the video, someone purportedly interviewing for a position exposes her vagina, after which the interviewer indicates that she got the job.
The complaint notes that immediately after sending the “Fastest Interview” video to Areu, Henry, who allegedly knew Areu was looking for an anchor job on Fox, texted her, “Are you avail for anchor interview.”
Areu’s allegations against Sean Hannity
From the complaint:
On [March 8, 2018], Mr. Hannity, on set and in front of the entire studio crew – and completely unsolicited – threw $100 on the set desk. He then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks at Del Friscos. He repeatedly yelled, “who wants to take her on a date?” “Take her on a date to Del Friscos.” Ms. Areu was completely mortified and made clear that she was incredibly uncomfortable with Mr. Hannity’s misogynistic behavior by quietly pleading with one of her friends in the room to accept the money so that the humiliation would end.
To make matters worse, Ms. Areu was “stuck” and could not even leave because Mr. Hannity engaged in this conduct while she was “hooked into” studio equipment that could only have been removed by a stagehand.
Thankfully, none of the staff cooperated with Mr. Hannity, even after he repeatedly chided one particular male employee for being “afraid to take out a beautiful woman.”
Areu’s allegations against Tucker Carlson
In December 2018, Areu said she and Carlson were in the New York City studio for a live segment. When it ended, she alleges that one of the crew whispered to her that Carlson wanted her to stay until the end of the show to chat with him. According to the legal complaint, she had no choice because the tech crew refused to undo the equipment that attached her to the chair.
Following the show, Mr. Carlson, hardly making any effort to hide his intentions, began telling Ms. Areu that he would be alone in New York City that night, and specifically said that he would be staying alone in his hotel room without any wife or kids.
Without question, Mr. Carlson was probing to see whether Ms. Areu was interested in a sexual relationship. Ms. Areu awkwardly sidestepped Mr. Carlson’s advances and declined to spend the night at his hotel. Mr. Carlson promptly retaliated against Ms. Areu, who was featured on his show only three times in 2019 and has not appeared once in 2020.
Areu’s allegations against Howard Kurtz
According to the complaint, Areu declined Kurtz’s invitation to meet him at his hotel and instead invited him to join her and a friend for dinner. Kurtz declined.
The morning after Ms. Areu rejected Mr. Kurtz’s advances, he refused to meet with her at the studio and curtly said to her, “I’m booked solid this morning which is why I hoped to connect last night.” Mr. Kurtz was punishing Ms. Areu for refusing to join him at his hotel. As if this were not already obvious enough, shortly after this, Mr. Kurtz stated to Ms. Areu, in sum and substance, “you’re the only woman here who won’t come to my hotel room.”
Areu’s allegations against Gianno Caldwell
Although he’s not a defendant in the suit, Areu claims that Caldwell dangled an opportunity to meet and work with Ann Coulter (which “liberal” Areu claims she would have loved) as an “attempt to coerce Ms. Areu into dating him.” She declined the date and was never introduced to Coulter by Caldwell.
Frankly, I’m having a bit of trouble sympathizing with Areu given that she has helped validate some of the worst Fox News propaganda while holding herself up as a liberal. A liberal who just happened to be looking for a Fox anchor position, we learn from the complaint. But while I hope to see Areu relegated to the dustbin of punditry forever, the fact is that nobody deserves to be treated the way she allegedly was.
Eckhart and Areu have pulled back the curtain on yet more facets of the Fox News misogyny. I call that a public service.
(Henry image via screen grab)
The masses need to email a copy of the lawsuit to each Fox “News” advertiser. Let them see how female employees are treated at this evil empire.
Coming down the pipeline:
1. Another major shocker hits Fox “News” Channel.
2. Heads roll again.
3. Major changes-again-at this demonic network.
4. Former Foxettes speak out against this evil network.
NOTE TO ED HENRY
We sincerely hope you are prosecuted. You are not fit to work at any news broadcasting network, you sick fool. Your broadcasting career is finished. End of story.
NOTE TO TUCKY CARLSON
Don’t embarrass your daddy’s name, resign kid. By the way, you think you are hot stuff. We don’t think so. You couldn’t attract flies.
NOTE TO HOWARD KURTZ
Fool! You should have stayed at CNN. Now your broadcasting career is over.
NOTE TO GIANNO CALDWELL
Stick with Coulter. Birds of a feather, flock together.
NOTE TO WXEL
We would not send a penny to your worthless station. We hope the masses cease donations, as well. May your station suffer financially.
NOTE TO ELIZABETH CLAMAN
Clean your own stuff and buy your own food, sister. You should be more concerned about your career at the Foxes. Old ladies like you don’t last long and easily replaced by younger women. Bye, girl.
NOTE TO HANNITY
We saved the best for last. The old black sheep of the Hannity family. If we throw $100 on the set desk would you resign from the Foxies? No wonder your life is in shambles. We call you the Long Island Omen for good reasons. You are a disgrace to your late parents, your children, nieces, and nephews. We are glad Merri Jill is free from your claws. We look forward to her future new husband. We can bet $100 he will be a much better husband than you, grandpa.
NOTE TO THE HEELS
Your advertisers will flee when they are sent the entire complaint about these mouthpieces. If you were smart, you terminate all of them. Otherwise, you won’t have any advertisers left.