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Judge rules Fox News, ex-anchor Ed Henry must face former producer's sexual misconduct lawsuit

Ed Henry and the former associate producer were dismissed by the network in summer 2020

Updated: September 10, 2021 - 9:11am

Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry and the cable TV network must face a lawsuit that accuses Henry of promising career advancement to a female employee to coerce her into a sometimes violent sexual relationship, according to the ruling of a federal judge.

Manhattan District Court Judge Ronnie Abrams said Thursday that former Fox News associate producer Jennifer Eckhart would be permitted to attempt to show that Henry engaged in sex trafficking and victimizing shaming, in addition to attempting to prove that Fox News knew or should have known about Henry's behavior. 

Fox News and an attorney for Henry call Eckhart's claims "baseless." 

Eckhart and Henry were fired by Fox News in summer 2020.

Eckhart claims the network fired her after she complained about her work environment, and Henry was fired one month later after the network learned about Eckhart's accusations against him, which include an alleged February 2017 rape in a Manhattan hotel room. 

Henry, in a court filing, said he and Eckhart engaged in a "completely consensual" relationship. 

Judge Abrams also dismissed a lawsuit brought by former Fox News guest personality Catherine Areu that accused Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Howard Kurtz of subjecting her to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

Abrams ruled that Areu would not be permitted to pursue some of her claims because she was not an employee of the network and failed to show that the anchors in there suit punished her for resisting their advances.