Fox News Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The accusations are just the latest sexual harassment complaint against Fox News

tucker carlson fox news sexual misconduct lawsuit
Tucker Carlson is among the defendants named.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Top Fox News personalities have been accused of sexual misconduct in a new lawsuit filed Monday in New York federal court, the New York Times reported. The suit alleges sexual misconduct by Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz, while also addressing a previous rape allegation against Ed Henry, who was fired from the network earlier this month following an internal investigation into the allegations.

The complaint claims that Fox News was aware of the allegations against Henry as early as 2017. “At that time, when Fox News was conducting a company-wide investigation into issues of sexual harassment, multiple women came forward to complain that Mr. Henry had engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct towards them,” the suit claims. In a statement Tuesday, Fox News denied there had been prior sexual-harassment claims against Henry.

The complaint against Henry comes from Jennifer Eckhart, a former associate producer at Fox Business, who claims she was “preyed upon, manipulated and groomed” by Henry in a coerced relationship that culminated in a “violent, painful rape” in a Manhattan hotel room in 2017. Meanwhile, co-plaintiff Cathy Areu accuses fellow Fox News stars Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Howard Kurtz of sexual misconduct alongside Henry.

Areu, a former Fox journalist and frequent guest on Fox News programs, claims she was rarely asked back onto Carlson’s show after turning down an invitation to join him in his hotel room. Areu also claims she turned down a similar invitation from Kurtz, who is alleged to have told her “in sum and in substance, ‘You’re the only woman here who won’t come to my hotel room.’” The complaint also accuses Henry of sending Areu sexually explicit messages, and states that Hannity encouraged his male crew members to take Areu on a date, calling her a “beautiful woman.”

The complaint seeks damages against Fox News, Carlson, Hannity, Kurtz and Henry for sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, retaliation and, in Eckhart’s case against Henry, sex trafficking violations.

Fox News denied the allegations in a statement:

“Based on the findings of a comprehensive independent investigation conducted by an outside law firm, including interviews with numerous eyewitnesses, we have determined that all of Cathy Areu’s claims against FOX News, including its management as well as its hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity & Howard Kurtz and its contributor Gianno Caldwell, are false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit.

“We take all claims of harassment, misconduct and retaliation seriously, promptly investigating them and taking immediate action as needed — in this case, the appropriate action based on our investigation is to defend vigorously against these baseless allegations. Ms. Areu and Jennifer Eckhart can pursue their claims against Ed Henry directly with him, as FOX News already took swift action as soon as it learned of Ms. Eckhart’s claims on June 25 and Mr. Henry is no longer employed by the network.”

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