Dec 11, 2019 - Economy

Read: Britt McHenry files sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News

Britt McHenry visits the Fox news set on August 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Britt McHenry. Photo: Mary F. Calvert For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Britt McHenry, a host on the Fox Nation streaming service, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York Tuesday against Fox News, its parent company and several of the firm's employees over sexual misconduct allegations.

Why it matters: The suit accusing co-host George "Tyrus" Murdoch of sexually harassing McHenry for months in 2018 and alleging Fox News took retaliatory action against her after she complained is the latest sexual misconduct claim involving the network in recent years. Both Fox News and Murdoch strongly deny McHenry's claims.

  • The lawsuit states that "after payouts of over $100 million in recent sexual harassment scandals, Fox News publicly says it now has 'zero tolerance' for sexual harassment." It claims this is a "dangerous lie."
"In practice, Fox News remains a sanctuary for sexual harassers, coddling and enabling the men who abuse female employees."
— Excerpt of allegations made in McHenry's lawsuit

The big picture: McHenry first came forward earlier this year to make a complaint to Fox News on the harassment allegations and claims that Murdoch displayed "volatile and unpredictable behavior" at work and sent explicit text messages.

  • "Two outside law firms were eventually brought in to investigate the allegations," the Los Angeles Times notes.

What they're saying: Murdoch’s attorney Tom Clare said in a statement to news outlets including the New York Times that Murdoch "looks forward to having a public forum in the court system to clear his name from the smear campaign that has been waged against him in the media."

  • "Tyrus will be pursuing defamation counterclaims," Clare said.
  • A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement issued to news outlets including Axios that McHenry’s lawsuit "recycles the same allegations she filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights in October, to which we filed a response on Friday."
"As we have previously stated, Ms. McHenry’s allegations have been fully investigated and we are confident our actions will be deemed entirely appropriate in litigation. We expect all of her claims to be dismissed."

Read the lawsuit:

Editor’s note: This post has been changed to correctly identify Murdoch as the person who Tom Clare said was looking forward to clearing his name (not McHenry).

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