Britt McHenry, the host at Fox Nation, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News and her former co-host George Murdoch, aka Tyrus, in the Southern District of New York. This is yet another sexual harassment controversy the news network has been embroiled in in recent times.
McHenry alleged that the news network retaliated against her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against Murdoch with the Fox News management in June alleging that Murdoch had sent her sexually suggestive text messages.
As per the lawsuit, the probe conducted by the news network post her complaint were "sham investigations", CNN reported. She alleged that photographs obtained during one of the probes "purported to be from" her to Murdoch "with her cleavage and nearly bare breast shown", were "fraudulent" and "doctored". "A simple Google Image search shows that the first image was taken from a website and the woman depicted was not Ms. McHenry," the lawsuit said.
McHenry has offered to have a forensic expert examine her phone to establish that she didn't send the messages. According to the lawsuit, Murdoch has "refused" to do the same.
She has alleged that post her complaint, she "received far fewer professional opportunities" from the network, including rarely being invited to appear on-air and not receiving much marketing for her show.
Post her June complaint with the Fox News management, she filed another complaint in October with the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Both Fox News and Murdoch have denied the allegations. In a statement, the news network said McHenry's lawsuit "recycles the same allegations filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights in October, to which we filed a response on Friday".
"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," the spokesperson said. "We expect all of her claims to be dismissed."
Murdoch's lawyer said in a statement that his client "denies the allegations in the lawsuit and will be defending it vigorously". "He looks forward to having a public forum in the court system to clear his name from the smear campaign that had been waged against him in the media. Tyrus will be pursuing defamation counterclaims."
'I love pony tails and braids'
McHenry and Murdoch were co-hosts at Fox Nation's show Un-PC. In her June complaint McHenry filed against Murdoch with the Fox News management, she accused her co-host of sending her unwanted and unsolicited text messages with lewd, sexual comments, on multiple occasions. She also alleged that Murdoch displayed "volatile and unpredictable behavior" at work.
These allegations were mentioned in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, as well.
"I love pony tails and braids you look amazing and it's a real turn on not that you care but I love it," read one of the alleged text messages. "The picture looks so good I would knock up the picture ... crazy sexy love your legs," said another, according to the lawsuit. McHenry also alleged that Murdoch harassed her in person.
Ultimately, Fox News gave a new co-host to McHenry and a new show, 'NUFFSAID', to Murdoch. It's still unclear whether the news network has taken any disciplinary action against Murdoch.
In 2016, the network's founder and CEO Roger Ailes resigned over sexual harassment allegations. The following year, Bill O'Reilly was fired over sexual harassment. The next year, Eric Bolling left the network after multiple women accused him of sending lewd text messages.