A lawyer for the woman who accused former Fox News host Ed Henry of sexual assault called his alleged behavior “Weinstein-esque, but worse” during a court hearing.
Attorneys for Jennifer Eckhart, a former Fox Business Network associate producer, made the allegations Wednesday during a hearing in the US District Court in Manhattan, where she fought to keep her lawsuit against Fox News alive in the face of motions to dismiss.
The lawsuit filed last year, weeks after Henry was fired from the network, alleges that Fox News violated federal sex-trafficking laws, requiring Eckhart to show that Fox knew or should have known that Henry was making her into a commercial sexual act.
Henry has always denied her claims, claiming they were in a consensual relationship, and Fox News has said Henry was “immediately terminated” once the network was made aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Eckhart’s attorney Michael John Willemin compared rapist Harvey Weinstein during oral arguments, alleging that Henry forced Eckhart to perform oral sex, handcuffed her to a hotel bed, beat her and left her bloodied, according to the report. Law and crime.
Attorneys for Jennifer Eckhart (left) fought to keep her lawsuit against Fox News alive during a hearing on Wednesday, reiterating her allegations of sexual assault against Ed Henry (right)
“He beat her,” Willemin said, repeating the allegation in the indictment. “He handcuffed her. He bruised her. He called her a ‘wh**e.’ He told her she has no choice.’
Eckhart’s lawsuit cited her claim that Fox Business Network host Liz Claman told her at the time, “Everyone at Fox News knows that Henry is a sex addict. That’s no secret.’
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams investigated Eckart’s claim that her fear of losing her job or promotions made the alleged assault commercial in nature.
“Why shouldn’t Fox have known that Mr. Henry was essentially trading empty promises for sex?” the judge asked a lawyer for Fox News.
“Why is promising someone to get to a place with very important people who can benefit their careers is not a thing of value?” asked Abrams later.
Fox News, in their request for rejection, called Eckhart’s claim against the network “uncredited.”
“Eckhart is not alleging facts to show that Fox News had prior knowledge of Henry’s alleged abuse, or even that the company could have known about it,” the motion said.
A statement from Fox News CEO Scott and President Jay Wallace on July 1, 2020
Fox’s attorney Kathleen M. McKenna argued that allegations in 2016 that Henry had an extramarital affair with a stripper in Las Vegas were not enough to notify the network of possible workplace misconduct.
“That was non-work behavior, whatever you think of it,” McKenna argued. Fox admits he suspended Henry for four months after his alleged affair became public.
Jennifer Eckhart claimed in lawsuit that Henry ‘violently raped her’
Judge Abrams questioned Eckhart’s attorney about the significance of the stripper incident and asked if Henry was having an affair or was reportedly undergoing treatment for a sex addiction, Fox had warned that he would harass employees.
“They should have had a heightened awareness to watch out for,” Willemin replied, insisting that the stripper incident was “just the beginning.”
Judge Henry has not yet ruled on the motions to dismiss filed by Fox News, Henry and other parties to the case.
Earlier this month, Henry sued NPR, CNN and three of their reporters – Brian Stelter, Alisyn Camerota and David Folkenflik – for reporting Eckhart’s rape allegations against him.
He has always denied her claims, claiming that they were in a consensual relationship. He says he was instead fired to distract the public from CEO Suzanne Scott who “covered up” an alleged affair the company president, Jay Wallace, was having with an employee.
Fox said in a statement to DailyMail.com that it has “conducted a full and independent inquiry into the claims against Jay Wallace” and that “he has been cleared of any wrongdoing and the allegations are false.”
Henry also sued Scott earlier this month for defamation for portraying him as a “sex criminal” and now has also sued CNN, NPR and the three journalists for the way they reported the story in July 2020.
He tweeted a link to the lawsuit and promised it wouldn’t be the last.
In a statement at the time, Fox told DailyMail.com: “As we mentioned a year ago, FOX News Media conducted a thorough independent investigation of Ed Henry immediately after being notified of a claim for serious misconduct against him by a former employee. Based on the results of those findings, we immediately terminated Mr. Henry’s employment for intentional sexual misconduct and have fully stood by the decision.”
Ed Henry has filed his own lawsuit against Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott (above) alleging she ‘insulted him like a sex offender’
“We are fully prepared to vigorously defend ourselves against these baseless allegations as Mr. Henry further embarrasses himself in a lawsuit full of inaccuracies after flinging his personal life with numerous extramarital affairs in a desperate attempt to maintain relevance and redemption,” the company added. .
The statement continued: “Under the leadership of CEO Suzanne Scott, FOX News Media has worked tirelessly to transform corporate culture, implementing annual mandatory in-person harassment prevention training, creating an entirely new reporting structure, more than tripling its size.” of our HR footprint, holding quarterly company meetings and mentoring events, as well as implementing a zero-tolerance policy regarding workplace misconduct for which we engage third-party independent companies to handle investigations.”
Eckhart’s lawsuit alleges that Henry “hunted, manipulated and groomed Mrs. Eckhart from the young age of 24 through his abuse of power over her and her career.”
It claims that he first started flirting with her in 2014 after she graduated and that although she was “not romantically interested” in him, she joined him for drinks after he persisted in his advances.
Eckkhart’s lawsuit includes a series of WhatsApp messages Henry, 49, allegedly sent to Eckhart, calling her his “little w***e” and referencing their relationship in graphic terms.
Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry is pictured with his wife Shirley
She claims Henry invited her to his New York Marriott Marquis hotel room, “took her clothes off” and had sex with him “for fear that her career would be over if she refused.”
Eckhart alleges that in September 2015, Henry forced her to have oral sex with him at a guest house in the New York City offices.
“When she was uncooperative, he sexually assaulted her in office buildings and raped her at a hotel where Fox News regularly housed its visiting employees, thereby facilitating, knowingly or unknowingly, Mr. Henry’s behavior,” the lawsuit said.
Eckhart’s suit contained numerous text messages allegedly from Henry, including messages from Valentine’s Day 2017: “F**k you and your safe word,” followed by “You will know when I’m done.”
Henry claims that the messages were taken out of context and taken out of context, and has filed a court file containing his own screenshots of lecherous text messages and lewd photos Eckhart allegedly sent him.