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Former Fox News correspondent Ed Henry — who was fired from the channel last year over sexual misconduct claims — is suing his former employer and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott for defamation, lobbing a number of explosive claims in the process.
Henry claims that Scott “publicly smeared” him “and ultimately defamed him as a sex criminal” through the process in which he was terminated, quoting another Fox executive as saying that Scott was looking for a job elsewhere in the Murdoch empire. Scott ultimately signed a multiyear contract with Fox earlier this year.
Henry also says that Scott helped cover up other cases of sexual misconduct, and that he was fired “in order to divert attention from Ms. Scott’s long history of covering up actual misconduct.”
“Under the leadership of CEO Suzanne Scott, Fox News Media has worked tirelessly 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,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “No other company has enacted such a comprehensive and continuous overhaul, which notably, earned Fox News Media recognition as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for the first time in its existence, a testament to the many cultural changes that Ms. Scott has instituted during her incredibly successful tenure as CEO.”
Specifically, Henry cites a human resources investigation involving Jay Wallace, who is currently the president of Fox News. Henry claims that the investigation found that Wallace had a relationship with a subordinate and that the employee subsequently received a “plum assignment” elsewhere at the company.
“Fox conducted a full and independent investigation of the claims against Jay Wallace — he was cleared of any wrongdoing and the allegations are false,” a Fox News spokesperson said in response to the claims.
In a footnote in the complaint, Henry says he intends to “bypass any nondisclosure agreements” that may have been signed by current or former Fox News employees (he names former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson and former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone) by issuing subpoenas and forcing them to testify about their experiences at the company.
“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 Fox News spokesperson added. “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.”
The full suit can be found here.
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