New York is a relatively employee-friendly state, but stronger laws do not stop sexual harassment from happening in the workplace, as evidenced by the “me too” movement. More women and men in the entertainment industry have been stepping forward about sexual misconduct they encountered at the hands of celebrities. One of the most recent lawsuits filed was against several Fox News hosts and executives by two female plaintiffs, Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu.
Claims against Ed Henry
In the lawsuit, Eckhart says Henry assaulted and raped her on multiple occasions, including once at Fox News’ headquarters in Manhattan and again at a Manhattan hotel. The lawsuit says that Fox News was put on notice of improper conduct by Henry when the company conducted an investigation in 2017, at which time multiple women complained about Henry’s sexually inappropriate conduct. Several Fox News executives were named in the lawsuit, which says they knew about the harassment and failed to take any action to stop it.
Claims against Sean Hannity
Areu alleges that Hannity humiliated her by putting $100 on his desk at work and offering it to any man who would take her on a date. Areu felt that Hannity retaliated against her and invited her back to the show less often after she did not “play along” with his misogynistic behavior.
Claims against Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz
Areu also says in the complaint that both Carlson and Kurtz, two other hosts, invited her to their hotel rooms. Areu says that Carlson and Kurtz retaliated against her in the same manner that Hannity did, and she says Kurtz responded to her rejection by saying she was the “only woman” who refused to go to his hotel room.
Fox News denied the allegations and stated that an independent investigation conducted by an outside law firm determined that the allegations were false. Plaintiffs’ attorneys correctly noted that the investigation was paid for by the company and not truly “independent.” If you think you have a claim of sexual harassment, do not let your employer make you doubt yourself, and consider speaking with an employment law attorney.