Source: Carlos Garcia
Former Fox News contributor and Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes filed a lawsuit Monday against the Fox News Channel alleging that they blacklisted her from the network after she accused a host of rape.
What is she claiming?
According to her lawsuit, Hughes is accusing Fox News of shutting her out of the network after she accused Fox News Business host Charles Payne of rape. IN July, Hughes had claimed she was blacklisted after ending the relationship, but the lawsuit added the rape allegation against Payne. Payne has since admitted to having an affair with Hughes, but denied all other allegations.
Hughes is accusing Payne of coercing her to have intercourse despite her telling him “no” and “stop” during an incident in 2013.
What does Fox News say about the accusation?
Fox News released a statement Monday excoriating Hughes and her lawyer for the filing.
“The latest publicity stunt of lawsuit filed by Doug Wigdor has absolutely no merit and is downright shameful,” it read. “We will vigorously defend this.”
“It’s worth noting that Doug is Ms. Hughes’ third representative in the last six months to raise some variation of these claims which concern events from four years ago, since it apparently took some time to find someone willing to file this bogus case,” it concluded.
What about Charles Payne?
The Fox News Business host was suspended for several weeks from his show while the network investigated the claims made in July. Without offering a conclusion about the investigation, they announced that he would be returning to his show, leading many to conclude they found the allegations to be without merit. The statement from Fox News Monday seemed to confirm that speculation.
Payne released a statement after the accusations first surfaced. “Charles Payne vehemently denies the allegations,” the statement from his lawyer read. “He will defend himself vigorously against these claims and will hold those responsible to account.”
Why does this matter?
The allegations against Fox News executives in the lawsuit could undermine viewers’ opinion of the network if they’re proven true. Fox is also fighting other allegations of racial and sexual harassment as referenced in their statement against lawyer Doug Wigdor, who represents many other litigants against the network.