Ed Henry, the former anchor of “America’s Newsroom” who was fired over sexual misconduct allegations, is suing Fox News and its CEO, Suzanne Scott, for defamation.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Newark, New Jersey, Henry’s lawyers accuse Fox and specifically Scott of giving him the boot over what he calls “false allegations.”
The lawsuit accused Scott of having “publicly smeared” Henry as a “sex criminal” when she released a statement saying he had engaged in “willful sexual misconduct” when the network terminated his contract. It also alleged invasion of privacy.Shortly after he was fired from Fox News in July 2020, Henry was accused of rape in a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Eckhart, a former Fox Business Network producer and online personality. The lawsuit also alleged that he retaliated against two women who rejected his advances.Henry, however, has denied the rape allegation and said his relationship with Eckhart was consensual, according to his attorney. That case is ongoing.
The suit claims Scott used Henry as a scapegoat for her own benefit when she fired him after an investigation into the claims against Henry.
From USA TODAY:
The lawsuit by Henry says Scott’s statement lent “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, however, Ms. Scott had long been an instrument to cover up the existence of sexual misconduct at Fox News,” adding she “has repeatedly covered up sexual misconduct by senior Fox News management.”
Fired Fox News host Ed Henry has filed a lawsuit against the network and its CEO Suzanne Scott. Henry alleges Scott covered up an affair between Fox News president Jay Wallace and a subordinate. Fox says the allegations against Wallace are false. My story: https://t.co/kjxtNjgZwB
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 1, 2021
Henry’s lawsuit comes just 24 hours after Fox News was fined $1 million by the New York City Commission on Human Rights in relation to a sexual harassment investigation into what the commission called “a series of high-profile reports alleging a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and retaliation at the network.” Former Fox News boss Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly, and now Henry, are a few examples of high-profile figures at the conservative network who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Fox News issued a statement in support of Scott, praising her for changing the culture within the company, while also strongly denying the claims in Henry’s lawsuit:
“We are fully prepared to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations as Mr. Henry further embarrasses himself in a lawsuit rife with inaccuracies after driving his personal life into the ground with countless extramarital affairs in a desperate attempt for relevance and redemption.”