A new lawsuit accuses Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and other Fox News officials of helping to cover up sexual harassment, sexual assault and other related crimes. The legal complaint was first made by a former associate producer at Fox Business, Jennifer Eckhart, according to a report by TV Line. Eckhart accuses these anchors and Fox News itself of intentionally covering up the violent behavior of former anchor Ed Henry, and another woman is backing up her story.
In the lawsuit, Eckhart alleges that former Fox News anchor Ed Henry sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions while they worked together, including once while she was restrained in handcuffs. Eckhart was joined by a co-plaintiff on the suit, frequent Fox News guest Cathy Areu, who claims that Henry, Carlson and Fox News host Howard Kurtz all propositioned her for sex. She says that they retaliated when she turned them down, and that others — including Hannity — acted inappropriately as well.
Henry was fired in early July, while Eckhart was fired back in June of 2020, and she claims it is because she complained about Henry and the "toxic" work environment in general. When Henry was fired, Fox News acknowledged that he had committed "willful sexual misconduct," but Eckhart claims that other officials knowingly protected him long before that.
"In Fox News' public announcement, it grossly mischaracterized Mr. Henry's behavior by whitewashing it as merely 'sexual misconduct' rather than violent sexual assault," the suit reads. It names his crimes as sexual assault, sexual harassment and even sex trafficking.
Meanwhile, Areu said that there was no question that turning down co-workers' sexual advances had a direct impact on her career and her treatment in the workplace. She claims that Hannity once waved a $100 bill around on set, demanding that someone in the studio agree to take Areu out to dinner with it. She also said that contributor Gianno Caldwell refused to help her advance in her career after she declined to go out with him.
Fox News has just put out a statement in response to the lawsuit (from former employee Jennifer Eckhart and frequent guest Cathy Areu) that accuses Ed Henry of sexual assault and accuses Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Howard Kurtz and Giano Caldwell of inappropriate behavior pic.twitter.com/uuIlk4Kz9B— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) July 20, 2020
The suit claims that Carlson and Hannity knew about Henry's attacks on Eckhart and intentionally covered them up. It contends that all the men named above are complicit in these various crimes, and by extension, the company itself.
Fox News issued a response on Monday, published in a report by The Washington Post. It said that the claims made by Eckhart and Areu are "false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of all merit." Henry's personal lawyer shared a similar statement as well.