TV host Britt McHenry sues Fox News, claiming sexual harassment

Britt McHenry, a host on Fox News streaming service Fox Nation, filed a lawsuit against the network, its corporate parents and several employees on Tuesday, accusing them of “refusing to investigate some of her claims.”

According to documents obtained by E! News, McHenry is also accusing Fox of “shunning her, shutting her out of company events and refusing to allow her on Fox News Channel shows.”

In the complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York by lawyer Lisa Bloom, McHenry says the network did not respond appropriately after she accused her on-air colleague George “Tyrus” Murdoch of sexually harassing her.

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In 2018 and 2019, McHenry and Tyrus co-hosted the show Un-PC on Fox News’ Fox Nation.

McHenry alleges that during that time, Tyrus “threatened to send her a ‘d–k pic’ over text message, told her he liked her buttocks and legs and speculated what Ms. McHenry would be like after sexual intercourse.”

The lawsuit also alleges Tyrus texted her, saying: “I love pony tails and braids you look amazing and it’s a real turn on not that you care but I love it.”

McHenry claims her co-host sent numerous other texts of the same nature and included the messages in the court documents.

McHenry’s lawsuit names Tyrus, Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Corp, News Corp, Fox Nation boss John Finley, Fox Nation executive producer Jennifer Rauchet and a human resources executive, Monica Mekeel.

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When the former ESPN personality went to human resources with her complaints, she claims that management “asked what Ms. McHenry did to provoke her harasser.”

“Throughout 2019, Fox News retaliated against Ms. McHenry, stripping her of professional opportunities while simultaneously promoting her harasser, giving him his own show,” the lawsuit alleges.

McHenry claims Fox News “punished the victim and rewarded the harasser.”

She also says she “suffered humiliation, emotional anguish, derailment of her career and significant loss of economic opportunities.”

She is demanding a jury trial and requesting damages of over $75,000 and monetary compensation for lawyer’s fees, costs and expenses.

Fox News released a statement on Tuesday to the Hollywood Reporter regarding McHenry’s lawsuit.

“Ms. 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,” the statement read. “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.”

Fox News had previously said it conducted two outside investigations into McHenry’s claims.

Tyrus posted a statement on Twitter on Dec. 10, saying: “Please see the following statement, which can be attributed to Tom Clare, an attorney representing Tyrus: ‘It’s telling that Vanity Fair, TMZ and other outlets reported on the lawsuit before McHenry’s lawyers contacted us about it.’

“Tyrus denies the allegations in the lawsuit and will be defending it vigorously,” the statement continues. “He 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.”

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In a statement, McHenry’s lawyer Bloom said: “Britt McHenry’s bombshell story should not be happening at Fox News in 2019. I am proud to represent her as she demands justice.”

On Tuesday, McHenry took to Twitter to say she is “standing up for myself, for women and for what’s right.”

“I have maintained the same allegations because the truth doesn’t change,” she continued. “I feel for any sexual harassment victim who has their story and evidence dismissed, doubted and not believed.

“There is documentation to prove everything I have claimed. I look forward to my day in court.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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