Ed Henry: Fox News anchor fired over 'wilful sexual misconduct' claim
Fox News has fired one of its leading anchors over claims of "wilful sexual misconduct" involving a colleague several years ago.
Ed Henry co-presented the America's Newsroom programme, which is broadcast mid-morning every weekday.
His former co-host Sandra Smith gave viewers the news on air on Wednesday.
Fox News said it received a complaint last week and fired Mr Henry after hiring a law firm to investigate. He has not yet commented.
The year-old's profile has already been deleted from the network's website, and the page for America's Newsroom now lists Smith as the sole anchor.
Fox News said the complaint was made on 25 June by the lawyer of a former employee.
Mr Henry was suspended the same day and has now been fired based on "investigative findings" from the law firm, according to an internal memo provided to the Reuters news agency.
On Wednesday's programme, Smith read a statement from Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace, saying they had taken the decision as part of an "effort to bring full transparency" to the matter.
"We strive to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees," they added.
Smith said rotating anchors would co-host the programme with her until a replacement is named.
The former employee has not been identified. Mr Henry joined Fox News from CNN in He has served as the network's chief national correspondent and previously hosted several weekend shows.
He is not the first Fox News figure to face allegations of sexual misconduct.
Former chairman Roger Ailes resigned in after being accused by former employees of sexual harassment.
The case against him was made into a Hollywood film, Bombshell, which starred Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.
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Fox stars Hannity, Carlson and fired anchor Henry in lawsuit
NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel stars Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz were accused of sexual harassment by a frequent on-air guest in a lawsuit filed Monday that the network called frivolous and untrue.
In the same case, a former Fox employee said she was harassed and raped by news anchor Ed Henry, who was fired July 1 shortly after the network became aware of the accusations.
Henry’s lawyer, Catherine Foti, said Monday that her client’s accuser, Jennifer Eckhart, initiated and encouraged a sexual relationship.
Hannity and Carlson represent two-thirds of Fox’s lucrative prime-time lineup, while Kurtz hosts the weekend “Media Buzz” show. None of the men have been mentioned before in any misconduct allegations at Fox until the charges were made by Cathy Areu.
The lawsuit filed in New York describes Areu’s discomfort with a March incident on the set of Hannity’s show where the host allegedly put $ on a desk and challenged the men on his staff to take her out on a date.
She said she was a guest on Carlson’s show in December and that after it was over, he told her he was staying in a hotel room in New York that night without his wife and children. In , she said Kurtz invited her to his hotel room to discuss her hope of getting a full-time job at Fox. When she instead invited him to dinner with her and a friend, he declined, she said.
In the cases of Carlson and Kurtz, Areu believed the men were making sexual advances, the lawsuit said. Areu said she was also propositioned by Gianno Caldwell, a Fox contributor.
Based on an outside law firm’s investigation, Fox said it found all of Areu’s claims “false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit.” Fox said it would defend itself vigorously.
Areu also said she got several lewd messages from Henry. But it was the accusations made by Eckhart, a former employee, that led to the anchor’s dismissal. Her allegations weren’t made public when Henry was fired.
Eckhart, who was 24 at the time, said the year-old Henry restrained her with metal handcuffs, took nude pictures of her and raped her in a hotel room. She said that he had asked Eckhart to be his “sex slave” and “little whore” and punished her when she did not comply with his demands.
Foti said Henry had received graphic photos and suggestive messages from Eckhart.
“The Me Too movement has helped to bring to light a number of injustices in our society, and everyone that has suffered deserves to be heard,” Foti said. “This is not one of those cases.”
Eckhart’s lawyer, Michael Willemin, accused Foti of trying to “slut-shame” Eckhart and suggest “that she was asking to be violently raped. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The lawsuit said that Fox knew that Henry — who took a four-month leave of absence in following published reports of his affair with a Las Vegas cocktail waitress — had engaged in sexual misconduct as far back as Fox said there were no sexual harassment claims against Henry until they learned about Eckhart’s allegations last month.
Fox said Eckhart’s case is with Henry, since the network moved swiftly to fire him.
Being targeted again by Douglas Wigdor’s law firm, well known for its pursuit of sexual misconduct cases, is an uncomfortable rerun for Fox. The network said it moved aggressively to change its ways after former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and star Bill O’Reilly lost their job because of accusations by women.
“Fox News would have the public believe that it is a different place from the Fox News that was run by Ailes,” the lawsuit said. “Unfortunately, it is actually worse.”
Fox says it takes all claims of harassment and misconduct seriously.
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Fox News Fires a Key Player in Its Election Night Coverage
The politics editor who defended the network’s accurate projection that Biden had won Arizona is out after a backlash from viewers, including President Trump.
Two senior leaders of Fox News’s reporting division are exiting the network as the cable channel replaces some news programming with right-wing opinion shows and tries to lure back viewers who balked at its coverage of the election and its aftermath.
On Tuesday morning, Fox News fired Chris Stirewalt, the veteran politics editor who was an onscreen face of the network’s election night projection that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had defeated President Trump in Arizona, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
Fox News was the first news outlet to call Arizona for Mr. Biden, a move that infuriated many of its regular viewers — including Mr. Trump, who denounced the network as insufficiently loyal and urged fans to watch Newsmax and One America News instead.
On Monday, Bill Sammon, Fox News’s longtime Washington bureau chief, told staff members that he would retire at the end of January. Three people with knowledge of internal discussions said that Mr. Sammon, who had editorial oversight of the network’s Decision Desk, had faced criticism from network executives over his handling of election coverage, despite the Arizona call ultimately being accurate.
Fox News declined to comment on the departures; Mr. Sammon’s retirement was previously reported by The Hill. In addition to their exits, roughly 20 Fox News digital journalists were laid off on Tuesday. The network attributed the layoffs in a statement to a realignment of “business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era.”
Executives at Fox News — the profit center of Rupert Murdoch’s American media empire — have been concerned by a postelection drop in ratings, a slump that has persisted for two months as upstart rivals like Newsmax gained viewers by featuring fringier fare that embraced Mr. Trump’s baseless theories about electoral fraud.
Prominent conservative pundits at Fox News who supported Mr. Trump, like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, remain popular and are tied to the network under long-term contracts.
Fox’s corporate leadership has been scrutinizing the news division, which is led by Jay Wallace, the president and executive editor of Fox News Media, according to a person with knowledge of internal discussions. Fox News’s daytime news programs, which often feature conservative guests but are helmed by anchors who do not report to the network’s opinion side, have experienced a sharp loss in viewership.
Mr. Stirewalt appeared on Fox News several times on election night and the days afterward. He vigorously defended the network’s early call of Arizona, even as anchors like Martha MacCallum grilled him about the decision; other TV networks did not call Arizona for Mr. Biden until days later. On Nov. 4, asked on-air about the Trump campaign’s baseless claims of fraud, Mr. Stirewalt memorably replied, “Lawsuits, schmawsuits. We haven’t seen any evidence yet that there’s anything wrong.”
Mr. Stirewalt’s analysis bore out: Mr. Trump did not win Arizona and his team produced no credible findings of fraud. But Mr. Stirewalt’s defense of the Arizona call drew condemnation from Trump fans, and he soon disappeared from the network’s coverage; his last on-air appearance at Fox News was Nov. (Mr. Stirewalt continued to co-host a Fox News politics podcast with the anchor Dana Perino, an episode of which was published on Sunday.)
Executives at Fox News believe Mr. Stirewalt’s appearances turned off viewers who were dismayed to see Fox News, like every other mainstream media outlet, eventually declare Mr. Biden the president-elect on Nov. 7, said three people with knowledge of the network’s inner workings.
On Monday, Fox News moved Ms. MacCallum, one of its lead news anchors, out of the early evening and into the less desirable 3 p.m. time slot. Ms. MacCallum’s previous 7 p.m. hour has shifted to an opinion-focused program with an anchor to be announced; Brian Kilmeade of the morning show “Fox & Friends” is temporarily in the role.
One contender for the 7 p.m. slot is Maria Bartiromo, the veteran business journalist who is a prominent face of Fox Business and has been a loyal on-air ally to Mr. Trump. On her Tuesday show on Fox Business, Ms. Bartiromo stated that left-wing protesters had impersonated Trump supporters during the riot at the United States Capitol — a claim that has been thoroughly debunked.
The network is also considering a late-night slot for the conservative pundit Greg Gutfeld, a co-host of “The Five” who also helms a popular Saturday night talk show for the network, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
Emily Flitter and Ben Smith contributed reporting.
20 Controversial Fox News Anchors That Got Fired
Some call them “Donald Trump’s Favorite TV network” One thing that FOX News has been unable to erase from its history as one of the world’s leading Television Networks is the amount of controversy the network has managed to elicit both externally and internally. And here is a list of controversies that has happened at the network resulting in the sack of some of its employees.
1. Bill O’Reilly
This was probably one of the biggest scandals to happen to one of America’s most celebrated broadcasters of all time.
Before joining Fox, Bill had previously worked for CBS News and ABC news. In he joined Fox news and started his own show titled the O’ Reilly Factor. His show was the highest rated show for 16 years straight. A report by the New York Times brought into light series of lawsuit and settlement against Billy and the Fox from five women totaling 13 million dollars. Once the news broke out numerous sponsors pulled out from their advertisements arrangements for the show. O’Reilly soon announced he would be taking a previously scheduled vacation and will be returning later.
Fox soon announced he would not be returning to the show again. Billy owns a blog where he still comments on the political situations of the country.
2. Eric Bolling
Another popular face that got embroiled in controversy leading to his dismissal at FOX news was Eric Bolling. Bolling was previously a presenter on CNBC, Eric took up a job in Fox Business Network as a financial analyst, hosting the business show Happy Hour. In , he took over as host for the program.
When The Five was created he moved as co-host for the show, soon moving again to be the co-host for Fox News Specialists. In , a report by HuffPost shows Eric sending unsolicited nude pictures and text messages to three women which he denied. An investigation was launched by Fox, which led to the announcement of the mutual agreement of termination of the contract.
3. Bob Beckel
A co-host of a TV show on Fox News called “The Five”. Beckel was soon released by the station after long months of absenteeism due to complications from back surgery and his addiction to pain killers. After a short stint with CNN, he was hired back into his old job but was soon fired again due to a racist remark he made to an African American employee that had come to offer technical assistance after he had issues with his computer. Initially, the News Network denied the allegation but after a lot of pressure, the Network fired Beckel.
4. Gretchen Carlson
Joined Fox news in , Carlson acting as an anchor for the show Fox & Friends. She held the position for 11 years which became a favorite, for now, United States President Donald Trump. In Carlson announced she had left her position at Fox. Carlson alleged that her contract wasn’t renewed due to her turning down sexual advances of the networks chairman, Roger Ailes. She filed a lawsuit against him immediately. After Carlson’s lawsuit more women came out also alleging that Ailes had harassed them and making the chairman to tender his resignation. Carlson was settled by the network with 20 million dollars.
5. Andrea Tantaros
Andrea joined Fox in , and after just one year with the network, she became a co-host on “The Five” and was soon moved to another show named ”Outnumbered”. In Andrea was sacked by the network which she claimed was due to her reporting about sexual harassment by Network Chief, Roger Ailes. In an interview with New York Magazine, she claimed she was demoted and taken off air after complaining numerous times about Ailes. Fox, however, claimed otherwise insisting she was taken off air only because she violated company policy of not allowing the company to vet her book before its publication.
6. Rudi Bakhtiar
Having spent nine years in the CNN, Rudi joined Fox in as an established reporter. Rudi covered major international news stories for the FOX News Network with some of the prominent stories such as the Ahmadinejad-al-Maliki summit in Tehran and the case and trial of Iraqi former leader, Sadam Hussein. But she was fired after spending only a year with the News Network. Rudi complained of sexual harassment by her co-worker Brian Wilson.
She also claimed that after she refuted Wilsons advances, she was reassigned, and after complaining also about being punished for refuting Wilsons advances, she was fired from the network. Fox denied any allegations of sexual harassment with the vice president John Muddy claiming she was just a bad reporter. The case went into confidential mediation where the ruling was in her favor, with Fox agreeing to pay her the remaining wages on her contract and also cover her legal fees.
7. John Huddy
Known for reporting from Jerusalem, Huddy was fired by Fox in after investigating him for a physical altercation. Huddy soon claimed in an interview that no such altercation, only finding the reason for his dismissal in the news. He claimed he was fired due to accusations by his sister over her sexual harassment allegations by Billy O’Reilly.
8. Dick Morris
After a lengthy career in politics which includes serving as a political adviser to the white house and serving as campaign manager for Bill Clinton in the elections, Dick Morris decided to switch professions becoming a political commentator and analyst. He was then hired by Fox News, making appearances in the O’Reilly show. In , Morris confidently predicted Mitt Romney will win the elections with a landslide victory against Obama, a prediction which was against a major consensus from experts that Obama will win both at electoral college and likely the popular vote. Months after the election, Fox decided not to renew his contract as his predictions were way of the mark.
9. Stacey Dash
Dash is known for her role in Dionne Marie Davenport in the series “Clueless.” She voted for Barrack Obama in the elections but soon changed parties and started identifying as a Republican. She supported Mitt Romney in the elections and soon became more vocal about her political opinions. In , she was hired by Fox as a contributor. During her stint with Fox, she was involved in so many controversial comments on live TV like “Obama doesn’t give an s**t about terrorism”, which got her suspended for two weeks, later on during the Oscars so White Movement, she insisted on the Black history month being abolished. After this incidences, the network refused to renew her contract.
Marc Lamont Hill
A professor in the Morehouse college, he joined Fox News in and he appeared often on the O’Reilly Show where he discussed with O’Reilly on socio-political issues. Hill had a reputation for defending controversial figures and was fired by Fox. In , Rupert Murdoch announced Hill was no longer within the organization’s employ when a reporter asked Rupert Murdoch about Hill.
Michelle fields became a contributor for Fox News in , making in appearances in shows like Fox & Friends, Hannity, The O’Reilly Factor, and Cashin’ In In , she accused Corey Lewandowski who is Donald’s Trump Campaign Manager, of aggressively grabbing her while she asked him questions. She then filed a police report against Lewandowski on the allegation of simple battery.
Michelle quit her job at Breitbart citing their non-support of over the incident. Soon after, Fox announced she wouldn’t be appearing on Cashin’In for a short while. She never appeared on the show again with Fox claiming a mutual termination.
A former New York police detective, Bo joined Fox News as a contributor in , it was rumored that the only reason why Dietl was hired was to help Ailes discredit the sexual harassment charges against him and also wage war against his enemies within the Network and externally. Dietl was let go by Fox in after getting into a clash with fellow contributor Jehmu Greene although the reason for altercation was never disclosed and it was reported that he was in a “tight spot” after Ailes was removed from the Network’s employ.
Eric Burns hosted Fox News Watch for more than a decade (), a debate show which focuses on media bias, with different panelists debating if the media portrayed stories well enough. Burns was not dismissed due to any allegations but was taking off because the studio wanted to change the scope from the traditional news outlets to more articles from the internet.
Regarded by some as the most powerful journalist in America, Will writes regularly for the Washington post and was employed by Fox in as a contributor where he regularly provided political input. Wills contract was not renewed due to a feud with O’Reilly about leaving the Republican party.
Known as a master of the art of broadcasting. Soon after leaving CNN, Henry joined Fox as the Chief White House Correspondent saying Fox news had been poorly criticized. After the revelation of his month extramarital affair with a Las Vegas Hostess and stripper, Henry took a break from media and it was during this period that he was removed from his position as FOX News White House Correspondent and in late August he came back and was given the position of Chief National Correspondent; a position which was quite lower than his previous position.
While at Fox, she was the host of the show “The Edge with Paula Zahn” Paula was fired by Fox news as soon as it was discovered that she was negotiating with CNN, a move that was considered a breach of the contract agreed with FNC (Fox News Channel). Hours after her dismissal, she got another offer from CNN.
Known for her whistleblower lawsuit against WTVT, which is a Fox News Network affiliate station. Akre and her husband Wilson worked on a story involving Agricultural and biotechnology company Monsanto about the use of a milk additive approved by the Food and Drug Administration but was responsible for a series of health issues. The company, Monsanto wrote to the President of Fox News Roger Ailes to review the report for bias as the report could cause a lot of damage.
WVTV didn’t run the article and stated that the report wasn’t “breakthrough journalism” despite Akre and her former husband rewriting the report over 80 times.
WVTV went ahead to terminate their appointment for no reason and went ahead to publish a report about the “Monsanto and rBGH” with the report containing defenses from Monsanto.
The couples filed a lawsuit against FOX News, citing an attempt to suppress and distort the damaging evidence against Monsanto. They lost the trial and never got their job back.
Kate Dalley was fired from her job completely unannounced. Many see Kate’s dismissal was caused by her outspoken opinions.
Fox News has dismissed comptroller Judy Slater after the networks concluded internal investigation over racist comments she made to Slater was accused of making offensive comments to African-Americans and ridiculing the way they talked. The allegations which were brought to the attention of management, who then launched an investigation into her behavior. We take any complaint of this nature very seriously and took the appropriate action in investigating and firing Ms. Slater within two weeks of this being brought to our attention, said a Fox News representative. There is no place for abhorrent behavior like this at Fox News.
Jessica served as a reporter for Fox radio until , where she was informed the network wouldn’t be renewing her contract due to budget cuts. Jessica alleges that this dismissal came 24 hours after she asked to speak to the networks independent investigator. She then sued fox for discrimination and retaliation.
News anchors fired fox
Fox News, former anchor Henry must face ex-producer's sexual misconduct lawsuit
NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Fox News and former anchor Ed Henry must face a lawsuit accusing Henry of promising career advancement to coerce an employee into a sometimes violent sexual relationship including rape, and accusing the network of allowing a hostile work environment, a U.S. judge ruled on Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams in Manhattan said that former associate producer Jennifer Eckhart could try to show Henry engaged in sex trafficking, and "victim shamed" her by posting what he claimed were nude photos of Eckhart in the court docket.
Abrams said Eckhart could also try to prove Fox News knew or should have known about Henry's harassing behavior, but not conduct related to alleged sex trafficking or the photos.
Separately, Abrams dismissed former on-air guest Cathy Areu's lawsuit accusing Henry and fellow Fox anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz of subjecting her to sexual harassment and a hostile environment, including demands she engage with them romantically and accept their "misogynistic behavior."
Abrams said Areu could not pursue some claims because she was not an employee, and did not show the anchors punished her for resisting their advances by reducing her airtime and hurting her career.
Henry's lawyer Catherine Foti said the Eckhart decision undermined her client's "legitimate efforts to defend himself" against claims he was confident would prove "baseless."
Fox News said it would defend against Eckhart's "baseless" claims against the network, saying it "takes harassment allegations seriously and acted appropriately."
Both lawsuits echoed earlier claims about sexual misconduct that led to the departures of Fox News founder Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O'Reilly.
Fox News fired Henry in July after learning about Eckhart's accusations, including an alleged February rape in a Manhattan hotel room.
In a court filing, Henry said Eckhart "willingly and enthusiastically" engaged in their "completely consensual" relationship.
Eckhart said Fox News fired her in June after she complained about the work environment.
Michael Willemin, a lawyer for Eckhart, said she looked forward to a jury trial.
Areu's lawyer James Vagnini said his client was disappointed and would review whether to amend her complaint.
The cases, both in the same docket, are Eckhart v Fox News Network LLC et al and Areu v Fox News Network LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Fired Fox News anchor files defamation lawsuit against network, CEO over misconduct allegations
Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry is suing the network for defamation for statements the company made when they fired him over allegations of sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Newark, N.J., seeks punitive damages and accuses top brass at Fox News of issuing a statement that "sandbagged" Henry in July of , according to USA Today.
"On Thursday, June 25, we received a complaint about Ed Henry from a former employee's attorney involving willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago," Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace, Fox News Media's president and executive editor, said in a memo at the time. "We immediately retained an outside law firm (which has never represented Fox News in investigations or litigation) to independently investigate the claims. Ed was suspended the same day and removed from his on-air responsibilities pending investigation."
Scott, Henry's lawsuit alleges, gave "credence to the false allegations because she was trying to save her own career and burnish her image as a tough, no nonsense female executive who cleaned up Fox News."
In reality, the suit argues, "Scott had long been an instrument to cover up the existence of sexual misconduct at Fox News," and had a long history of covering up allegations of misconduct by upper management at the network.
In a statement issued this week, Fox News shot down the claims Henry made about Scott and the network in his suit.
“As we stated one year ago, Fox News Media conducted a thorough independent investigation into Ed Henry immediately after we were made aware of a serious misconduct claim against him by a former employee. Based on the results of those findings, we promptly terminated Mr. Henry’s employment for willful sexual misconduct and stand by the decision entirely," the statement reads.
Fox News said it is "fully prepared to vigorously defend" itself against what it called "baseless allegations," saying Henry's lawsuit is "rife with inaccuracies" and mocking him for "driving his personal life into the ground with countless extramarital affairs in a desperate attempt for relevance and redemption.”
As for the allegations about Scott's role in covering up workplace misconduct, Fox said the company is proud of the work she has done to "transform the company culture, implementing annual, mandatory in-person harassment prevention training, creating an entirely new reporting structure, more than tripling the size of our HR footprint, conducting quarterly company meetings and mentoring events, as well as executing a zero tolerance policy regarding workplace misconduct for which we engage outside independent firms to handle investigations."
Henry's lawsuit comes days after Fox News agreed to pay a $1 million penalty amid an investigation into workplace culture by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
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