Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry files motion to toss out 'malicious and defamatory' lawsuit accusing him of 'handcuffing and raping' an employee in a NYC hotel and 'sending slew of sexual images' to another woman

 Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two women who accused him of rape and sexual misconduct, leading to his termination from the network in July.

Henry’s lawyers, led by Catherine Foti, filed two motions late Monday, the deadline to respond to a civil suit alleging a litany of sexual misconduct claims against Henry. 

The lawsuit was filed in July by Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu. Eckhart is a former associate producer on Fox Business, and Areu a former frequent guest news analyst on various Fox shows.

Their suit also accuses several other anchors of misconduct, including Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, which Fox has filed a motion to dismiss. 

But Henry, who has been married since 2010, is now seeking to dismiss the parts of the suit that apply to him, calling the two women’s respective rape and sexual misconduct claims ‘malicious and defamatory’.

Eckhart alleged in the suit that Henry raped her and ‘left her injured, bruised and battered, with bloody wrists’ in a New York hotel room ‘sometime in 2017’ and that Fox executives were informed ‘in graphic and specific detail’ about her claim.

She also claimed Henry, 49, handcuffed her and then took naked pictures of her own his cell phone, which she believed he planned to later use to blackmail her.

Areu, meanwhile, accused Henry of sexual harassment, saying he sent her ‘a slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and messages – which are in her possession’ throughout the first half of 2020.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Henry’s attorneys called the allegations made by Eckhart, who left the network in June, ‘nothing more than Ms. Eckhart’s attempt to grab the gold ring after she was fired from her job at Fox, a decision which had absolutely nothing to so do with Mr. Henry.’

Of Areu, they added: ‘Cathy Areu, whose employment was rejected by Fox, simply jumped on Ms. Eckhart’s bandwagon with flimsy and baseless claims, and Mr. Henry has been caught in the crossfire. As a frequent Fox guest, she knew that Mr. Henry had no authority to offer her a position there.’ 

Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry (pictured with wife Shirley) is seeking to dismiss a rape lawsuit filed by two women that contributed to his termination from the network for sexual misconduct in July

Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry (pictured with wife Shirley) is seeking to dismiss a rape lawsuit filed by two women that contributed to his termination from the network for sexual misconduct in July

The lawsuit was filed in July by Jennifer Eckhart and Cathy Areu. Eckhart is a former associate producer on Fox Business, and Areu a former frequent guest as a news analyst on various Fox Shows.
Cathy Aeru is shown above

The lawsuit was filed in July by Jennifer Eckhart (left)and Cathy Areu (right). Eckhart is a former associate producer on Fox Business, and Areu a former frequent guest as a news analyst on various Fox Shows.

But Henry, who has been married since 2010, is now seeking to dismiss the parts of the suit that apply to him, calling the two women’s respective rape and sexual misconduct claims ‘malicious and defamatory’

But Henry, who has been married since 2010, is now seeking to dismiss the parts of the suit that apply to him, calling the two women’s respective rape and sexual misconduct claims ‘malicious and defamatory’

In his motions, Henry argues that it was actually Eckhart who pursued sexual relations with him. He disclosed a number of apparent interactions he shared with Eckhart in which he claim she sent him ‘come-hither’ text messages.

‘The erotic and encouraging text messages she sent Mr. Henry (including one instructing Mr. Henry to “come and get it”), along with the salacious and explicit pictures of herself, clearly demonstrate that Mr. Henry never assaulted her and that Ms. Eckhart pursued a consensual relationship with him,’ Henry’s lawyer wrote in the filing.

Eckhart began working as a Freelance Administrative Assistant for Liz Chapman, a Fox Business anchor, in January 2013.

In her original filing, Eckhart described how Henry 'preyed upon, manipulated and groomed' her 'at the young age of 24 by exerting his abuse of power over her and her career'.

She said the incident began when Henry started following her on Twitter sometime in 2014, when she was 24.


However, Henry contends the first contact he had with Eckhart was actually on December 18, 2013, when she replied to a tweet he had posted about the movie Anchorman 2.

Henry, who worked in a different department to Eckhart at the time, claims he had no idea who she was or that she worked at Fox. Still, the pair shared a brief exchange and Henry then followed her back on Twitter.

Two hours after the Twitter exchange, Henry then reportedly contacted Eckhart through her work email, to which she responded: ‘Ha! Big fan of yours.…Thanks for the follow :)’.

Eckhart says sometime in 2014 she received a private message from Henry on Twitter that read, ‘Beautiful’. Eckhart then allegedly responded by telling Henry that she was a fan of his and that it would be an honor to meet him.

Henry replied to Eckhart, telling her he was in New York and then her to meet him in the green room of his studio, according to the suit. The pair later met and took a selfie together.

Eckhart then claims Henry later sent her a message asking her to send him the photo, telling her ‘You’re way more beautiful in person’, and then asked her to ‘get drinks with him’.

In her original filing, Eckhart described how Henry 'preyed upon, manipulated and groomed' her 'at the young age of 24 by exerting his abuse of power over her and her career'

In her original filing, Eckhart described how Henry 'preyed upon, manipulated and groomed' her 'at the young age of 24 by exerting his abuse of power over her and her career'

In his motions, Henry argues that it was actually Eckhart who pursued sexual relations with him. He disclosed a number of apparent interactions he shared with Eckhart in which he claim she sent him ‘come-hither’ text messages

In his motions, Henry argues that it was actually Eckhart who pursued sexual relations with him. He disclosed a number of apparent interactions he shared with Eckhart in which he claim she sent him ‘come-hither’ text messages

However, Henry contends the first contact he had with Eckhart was actually on December 18, 2013, when she replied to a tweet he had posted about the movie Anchorman 2.
Two hours after the Twitter exchange, Henry then reportedly contacted Eckhart through her work email, to which she responded: ‘Ha! Big fan of yours.…Thanks for the follow :)’.

However, Henry contends the first contact he had with Eckhart was actually on December 18, 2013, when she replied to a tweet he had posted about the movie Anchorman 2. Two hours after the Twitter exchange, Henry then reportedly contacted Eckhart through her work email, to which she responded: ‘Ha! Big fan of yours.…Thanks for the follow :)’.

Eckhart says she refused the offer, to which Henry, who was ‘intent on pursuing her despite her rejections,’ wrote to her in an email in June 13, 2013, ‘Yep. Hard to get’.

However, Henry’s attorneys claim their clients comments have been taken out of context.

‘In actuality, after taking the photo, Mr. Henry reached out to Eckhart using an email he guessed would be her work email address at Fox Business and asked, “this you? :)” to which Eckhart flirtatiously replies, “Maybe :)”. Only then does Mr. Henry answer “hard to get,” to which Eckhart replies “Very hard”,’ Henry’s lawyers wrote.

After that exchange, Henry claims Eckhart invited him to continue their communication on her private email. She later agreed to go out for drinks with him at a hotel bar in 2014, where they reportedly had a consensual sexual encounter, according to Eckhart.

She claims Henry 'ripped off her clothes' and she had sex with him 'fearing that her career would be over if she refused.'

Afterwards, Eckhart claims Henry told her he get her in the room with ‘really powerful people’, which she said she understood to mean that Henry could help her career.

Later, in September 2015, Eckhart says she was working in the Fox News offices when Henry asked her to put her underwear in an envelope for him to retrieve. Eckhart said she agreed to the request, and was later summoned Henry to meet him at a guest office, in the middle of the day.

It was during this alleged encounter that Eckhart says Henry forced her to perform oral sex on him.

In her lawsuit, Eckhart said she ran out of the guest office ‘in a state of shock, panic, and fear'. She said she was so upset from the incident that she tried to avoid Henry all together.

However, she said he ‘continued to send her lewd and graphic sexual messages’, regardless, detailing one message in which Henry wrote, ‘I’d like to wipe you with my tongue’.

Henry’s lawyers once again claim that Eckhart has taken their client’s messages out of context.

‘What Eckhart neglects to include in her description of this communication from Mr. Henry is her response: “I bet you would, dirty boy. Come n get it ;)”’.

The attorneys also included an image of the message, allegedly sent by Eckhart on October 21, 2015, along with the filing.   

Later, in September 2015, Eckhart (left with A Rod) says she was working in the Fox News offices when Henry asked her to put her underwear in an envelope for him to retrieve. Eckhart said she agreed to the request, and was later summoned Henry to meet him at a guest office, in the middle of the day

Later, in September 2015, Eckhart (left with A Rod) says she was working in the Fox News offices when Henry asked her to put her underwear in an envelope for him to retrieve. Eckhart said she agreed to the request, and was later summoned Henry to meet him at a guest office, in the middle of the day

In 2015, Eckhart said he ‘continued to send her lewd and graphic sexual messages’, regardless, detailing one message in which Henry wrote, ‘I’d like to wipe you with my tongue’

In 2015, Eckhart said he ‘continued to send her lewd and graphic sexual messages’, regardless, detailing one message in which Henry wrote, ‘I’d like to wipe you with my tongue’

‘What Eckhart neglects to include in her description of this communication from Mr. Henry is her response: “I bet you would, dirty boy. Come n get it ;)”’. The attorney’s also included an image of the message, allegedly sent by Eckhart on October 21, 2015, along with the filing

‘What Eckhart neglects to include in her description of this communication from Mr. Henry is her response: “I bet you would, dirty boy. Come n get it ;)”’. The attorney’s also included an image of the message, allegedly sent by Eckhart on October 21, 2015, along with the filing

Eckhart says she refused the offer, to which Henry, who was ‘intent on pursuing her despite her rejections,’ wrote to her in an email in June 13, 2013, ‘Yep. Hard to get’. However, Henry’s attorneys claim their clients comments have been taken out of context

Eckhart says she refused the offer, to which Henry, who was ‘intent on pursuing her despite her rejections,’ wrote to her in an email in June 13, 2013, ‘Yep. Hard to get’. However, Henry’s attorneys claim their clients comments have been taken out of context

According to Eckhart’s complaint, over the next several months Henry continued to attempt to communicate with her, interactions for which she said were unwanted.

However, Henry contends the Eckhart actually ‘welcomed and encouraged’ his continued contact.

As evidence of the claim, his attorneys detailed an exchange the pair shared in January 2016, in which Eckhart reportedly sent Henry a playlist of songs there were planning to listen to during one of their future sexual encounters.

‘The playlist consisted of many sexual songs including songs like “Cockiness (Love It When You Eat It)” which features the lyrics “I want you to be my sex slave . . . Set my whole body on fire”,’ Henry’s filing states.

‘Along with the playlist, Eckhart sent the message, “Think this is long enough?” in reference to whether the playlist was long enough for their next sexual encounter,’ the filing continues.

Just over a week later, Eckhart then reportedly sent Henry an email with a link to a news article about a man who has a vacuum cleaner tattooed around his crotch.

‘Eckhart’s comment was a joking reference to a tattoo of Mr. Henry’s that Eckhart would have seen when she performed oral sex on him, an incident Eckhart now retroactively alleges was forced,’ Henry’s attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss the case

‘Eckhart’s comment was a joking reference to a tattoo of Mr. Henry’s that Eckhart would have seen when she performed oral sex on him, an incident Eckhart now retroactively alleges was forced,’ Henry’s attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss the case

‘WAY hotter than “Chief”’ Eckhart reportedly wrote in the message.

‘Eckhart’s comment was a joking reference to a tattoo of Mr. Henry’s that Eckhart would have seen when she performed oral sex on him, an incident Eckhart now retroactively alleges was forced,’ Henry’s attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss the case.

Henry took a four month leave of absence in 2016 after his extra-marital affair with a Vegas cocktail waitress was revealed.

During and after this time, in her suit, Eckhart says Henry continued to send her unsolicited sexually-charged messages, including references to bondage and obedience.

"In the Fall of 2016, Mr. Henry sent Ms. Eckhart a link to a song entitled “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” Ms. Eckhart, confused, asked Mr. Henry if he was trying to tell her something. He responded, “That I want you to ride ME?” “Yesss” “I am telling you that!' the lawsuit states. 

In another of the messages, sent on Valentine’s Day in 2017, Henry allegedly wrote to her: ‘F*** you and your safe word.’

But Henry’s attorneys claim the messages weren’t unsolicited. They say throughout 2017, Eckhart was sending their client sexually explicit photographs of herself, showing her ‘scantily clad in lingerie … lounging in sexually enticing poses on her bed or smiling seductively’, in addition to sending nude images.

The attorneys included grabs of the selfies in the filing, with the images appearing to be sent throughout 2017. 

'The majority of these photographs clearly are “selfies,” taken by Eckhart of herself. During the time that Eckhart was sharing these photographs with Mr. Henry, he was sending her sexual text messages,’ Henry’s attorneys wrote.

‘Notwithstanding the available evidence demonstrating Eckhart’s active, willing participation in the relationship, she alleges that “at some point” in 2017, Mr. Henry raped her.’

According to Eckhart’s complaint, over the next several months Henry continued to attempt to communicate with her, interactions for which she said were unwanted. However, Henry contends the Eckhart actually ‘welcomed and encouraged’ his continued contact

According to Eckhart’s complaint, over the next several months Henry continued to attempt to communicate with her, interactions for which she said were unwanted. However, Henry contends the Eckhart actually ‘welcomed and encouraged’ his continued contact

Henry contends the Eckhart actually ‘welcomed and encouraged’ his continued contact. As evidence of the claim, his attorneys detailed an exchange the pair shared in January 2016, in which Eckhart reportedly sent Henry a playlist of songs there were planning to listen to during one of their future sexual encounters

Henry contends the Eckhart actually ‘welcomed and encouraged’ his continued contact. As evidence of the claim, his attorneys detailed an exchange the pair shared in January 2016, in which Eckhart reportedly sent Henry a playlist of songs there were planning to listen to during one of their future sexual encounters

While the date of the rape allegation has not been specifically disclosed by Eckhart, in her suit she says that ‘sometime in 2017’ Henry invited her out for drinks at a restaurant, where he told her Fox was awarding him with his own show.

Eckhart says he invited her to take a walk back to his hotel, to which she obliged. She said in her suit that she agreed to do so because she feared it could affect her job if she refused.

It was in the hotel room that Eckhart says Henry handcuffed, raped her and then photographed her while she was still restrained.

The legal document claims that Eckhart 'pleaded for him to stop' and delete the images but he 'proceeded to forcefully rape Ms. Eckhart while she was still restrained and helpless in handcuffs.'

'While raping Ms. Eckhart, Mr. Henry performed sadistic acts on Ms. Eckhart, which included, among many other things, violently hitting her in the face multiple times,' the lawsuit states.

Eckhart’s complaint also includes a string of WhatsApp messages that Henry allegedly sent to her afterwards in which he calls her his 'little w***e' and refers to their relationship in disturbingly graphic terms.

'Good long session last time. Left you bruised batter dazed sated begging for more,' he wrote in one message. Another states: 'When u r owned u don't get a choice.'

Henry’s attorneys argue that Eckhart couldn’t have been in fear of losing her job, because Henry didn’t have any ‘supervisory authority’ over her, because she worked for Liz Chapman in a completely different division of Fox News.

Eckhart said she 'made every possible effort to cease all communications' with Henry after the alleged incident but it claims he 'continued to harass and retaliate against her for rejecting his continued advances.'

Henry’s attorneys say the pair only shared a handful of interactions there after.

Eckhart further adds that when she told Fox’s HR department that she was 'experiencing a toxic work environment' in February this year, she never heard back from them. The lawsuit alleges that the company retaliated by 'informing her that her employment would be terminated' in June.

Fox later claimed in a statement that it learned of the claims on June 25. A spokesperson for the network told DailyMail.com that no sexual harassment claims were made against Henry prior to that date. 

In his filing, Henry’s attorneys wrote: ‘on June 12, 2020, Fox News terminated Eckhart’s employment, effective June 26. On June 25 Eckhart’s counsel allegedly informed Fox News for the first time of Eckhart’s allegations against Mr. Henry.

‘On July 1, Fox News terminated Mr.Henry. There are no allegations that Mr. Henry was in any way involved with Eckhart’s termination or even that he knew she was being terminated.’

While the date of the rape allegation has not been specifically disclosed by Eckhart, in her suit she say that ‘sometime in 2017’, Henry invited her out for drinks at a restaurant, where he told her Fox was awarding him with his own show

While the date of the rape allegation has not been specifically disclosed by Eckhart, in her suit she say that ‘sometime in 2017’, Henry invited her out for drinks at a restaurant, where he told her Fox was awarding him with his own show

'Mr. Henry not only leveraged this imbalance of power for control over his victim, Ms. Eckhart, but asked her to be his "sex slave" and his "little w***e," and threatened punishment and retaliation if Ms. Eckhart did not comply with his sexual demands,' the lawsuit states
The lawsuits includes photos of texts Henry allegedly sent to Eckhart

Eckhart’s complaint includes a string of WhatsApp messages that Henry allegedly sent to Eckhart afterwards in which he calls her his 'little w***e' and refers to their relationship in disturbingly graphic terms 

Henry's lawyers also argue that Fox declined to hire Areu for a position at the network and she joined Eckhart’s lawsuit with ‘flimsy and baseless claims.’
Henry's motion aimed at Areu argues that she ‘takes a parsimonious approach’ to justifying her claims by quoting only ‘selective examples’ of messages exchanged with Henry.

Henry's lawyers also argue that Fox declined to hire Areu (above) for a position at the network and she joined Eckhart’s lawsuit with ‘flimsy and baseless claims.’ Henry's motion aimed at Areu argues that she ‘takes a parsimonious approach’ to justifying her claims by quoting only ‘selective examples’ of messages exchanged with Henry

Eckhart has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment.

In a statement to USA TODAY on Monday, she fired back at Henry's filing writing: ‘Rape is rape, and can never be “justified” or “excused”. No man is entitled to violently rape a woman because she sent him consensual looking text messages.’

She added that some of the ‘sexually explicit’ photographs reference by his attorney and submitted as part of the filing ‘are not even of me. My abuser’s continuing attempt to intimidate and bully me into silence reveals his toxic and predatory mindset.’

She continued: ‘These are the same degrading tactics he used to try to silence me when I was an employee at Fox News, and the reason I and so many women stay silent for so long is because we fear these types of horrific attacks. But, I am no longer afraid of him.’

Henry's lawyers also argue that Fox declined to hire Areu for a position at the network and she joined Eckhart’s lawsuit with ‘flimsy and baseless claims.’

Henry's motion aimed at Areu argues that she ‘takes a parsimonious approach’ to justifying her claims by quoting only ‘selective examples’ of messages exchanged with Henry.

The motion argues that the two were part of a friendly competition involving an exchange of memes that were trending on the internet at the time.

‘As Areu states in one message to Mr. Henry, which she also conveniently omits: “You’re like the nicest person on the planet,"’ the motion asserts. 

In both motions, Henry's lawyers list multiple reasons why the lawsuit fails to meet legal standards to prevail, including statutes of limitations, and failure to offer a precise date for the alleged rape.

‘Without a precise date of the alleged rape, Eckhart’s allegations are left too vague for Mr. Henry to affirmatively defend based on the applicable three-year statute of limitations,’ the motion says. 

In a statement to DailyMail.com, a spokesperson for Fox News said: 'Based on the findings of a comprehensive independent investigation conducted by an outside law firm, including interviews with numerous eyewitnesses, we have determined that all of Cathy Areu’s claims against FOX News, including its management as well as its hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity & Howard Kurtz and its contributor Gianno Caldwell, are false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit. 

'We take all claims of harassment, misconduct and retaliation seriously, promptly investigating them and taking immediate action as needed — in this case, the appropriate action based on our investigation is to defend vigorously against these baseless allegations. Ms. Areu and Jennifer Eckhart can pursue their claims against Ed Henry directly with him, as FOX News already took swift action as soon as it learned of Ms. Eckhart’s claims on June 25 and Mr. Henry is no longer employed by the network.'   

Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry files motion to toss out 'malicious and defamatory' lawsuit accusing him of 'handcuffing and raping' an employee in a NYC hotel and 'sending slew of sexual images' to another woman Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry files motion to toss out 'malicious and defamatory' lawsuit accusing him of 'handcuffing and raping' an employee in a NYC hotel and 'sending slew of sexual images' to another woman Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:10 Rating: 5

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