Mr. Henry remains in the case in connection with Ms. Eckart’s allegations of sex trafficking, hostile work environment, gender motivated violation and a violation of New York’s revenge porn law.
On September 9, Judge Ronnie Abrams (D – Obama) handed down an extremely important legal decision in Jennifer Eckart’s rape, sexual assault and retaliation suit against Fox News and its former anchor and Chief National Correspondent, Ed Henry.
As you may recall, Ms. Eckhart first filed her lawsuit against Fox News and Mr. Henry in July 2020. Ms. Eckhart’s suit alleged that she was sexually assaulted and raped by Mr. Henry, and further alleged that Fox News knew or should have been aware of Mr. Henry’s sexually harassing behavior towards Ms. Eckhart and other female employees. The complaint also alleged that Ms. Eckhart was terminated after complaining about the toxic work environment at Fox News. The operative version of the Complaint, which was amended after its filing, is here. [Editor’s note: the complaint is very graphic in its description of Ms. Eckhart’s ordeal.]
Following the filing, Fox News and Mr. Henry filed motions in an effort to have the entire case dismissed. The Court rejected the vast majority of the defendants’ arguments. Mr. Henry remains in the case in connection with Ms. Eckart’s allegations of sex trafficking, hostile work environment, gender motivated violation and a violation of New York’s revenge porn law. Fox News remains in the case with respect to its alleged liability for Mr. Henry’s conduct in raping and sexually assaulting Ms. Eckhart, as well as its alleged liability for terminating Ms. Eckhart after her internal complaints. A copy of the decision is found here.
Statement of Michael J. Willemin, Partner Wigdor LLP:
“We are very pleased with the Court’s well-reasoned decision. Neither Fox News nor Ed Henry succeeded in their early attempts to escape liability as to Ms. Eckhart’s allegations of rape, sexual assault and unlawful termination. Both parties remain in the case with respect to these important allegations. Moreover, we are pleased that the Court recognized the “profound invasion of privacy and bodily autonomy” resulting from the unreasonable act of Mr. Henry filing certain salacious material on the public docket, which Ms. Eckhart alleges was an abhorrent Weinstein-esque attempt to victim shame. We intend on pushing this case forward expeditiously and asking a jury to hold both Fox News and Mr. Henry accountable for their alleged conduct.”
Statement from FOX News
“While we are pleased Judge Abrams ruled in favor of our motion to dismiss the Cathy Areu case, we remain committed to defending against the baseless allegations against Fox outlined in Jennifer Eckhart’s claims. As we have previously stated, upon first learning of Ms. Eckhart’s allegations against Ed Henry, FOX News Media immediately commenced a thorough independent investigation and within six days dismissed Mr. Henry for cause. We look forward to proving through the discovery process that FOX News Media takes harassment allegations seriously and acted appropriately.”