An legal professional for the girl who accused former Fox Information host Ed Henry of sexual assault has known as his alleged conduct ‘Weinstein-esque, however worse’ in a court docket listening to.
Attorneys for Jennifer Eckhart, a former affiliate producer for Fox Enterprise Community, made the claims at a listening to on Wednesday in US District Courtroom in Manhattan, the place they battled to maintain her go well with towards Fox Information alive within the face of motions to dismiss.
The go well with filed final yr, a number of weeks after Henry was fired from the community, alleges that Fox Information violated federal sex-trafficking legal guidelines, requiring Eckhart to indicate Fox knew or ought to have recognized that Henry coerced her right into a business intercourse act.
Henry has at all times denied her claims, insisting that they had a consensual relationship, and Fox Information has stated that Henry was ‘promptly terminated’ as quickly because the community grew to become conscious of any sexual misconduct allegations towards him.
At Wednesday’s listening to, Eckhart’s lawyer Michael John Willemin made the comparability to rapist Harvey Weinstein throughout oral arguments, claiming that Henry compelled Eckhart to have oral intercourse, handcuffed her to a lodge mattress, beat her and left her bloodied, in accordance with Legislation & Crime.
Attorneys for Jennifer Eckhart (left) fought to maintain her lawsuit towards Fox Information alive at a listening to on Wednesday, reiterating her sexual assault claims towards Ed Henry (proper)
‘He hit her,’ Willemin stated, repeating the allegation within the grievance. ‘He handcuffed her. He bruised her up. He known as her a ‘wh**e.’ He advised her she would not have a selection.’
Eckhart’s go well with cited her declare that Fox Enterprise Community anchor Liz Claman advised her on the time: ‘Everybody at Fox Information is aware of that Henry is a intercourse addict. That is no secret.’
U.S. District Choose Ronnie Abrams probed Eckart’s allegation that her concern of dropping her job or promotions made the alleged sexual assault business in nature.
‘Why ought to Fox not have recognized that Mr. Henry was primarily exchanging empty guarantees for intercourse?’ the decide requested an legal professional for Fox Information.
‘Why is promising somebody to get into a spot with crucial individuals who can profit their profession not a factor of worth?’ Abrams later requested.
Fox Information, of their movement to dismiss, known as Eckhart’s declare towards the community ‘meritless.’
‘Eckhart doesn’t allege any information displaying that Fox Information knew about Henry’s alleged abuse beforehand, and even that the corporate might have recognized,’ the movement argues.
Ed Henry has filed his personal lawsuit towards Fox Information CEO Suzanne Scott (above), claiming she ‘defamed him as a intercourse felony’
A press release from Fox Information CEO Scott and President Jay Wallace on July 1, 2020
Fox’s lawyer Kathleen M. McKenna argued that allegations in 2016 that Henry had an extramarital affair with a Las Vegas stripper weren’t adequate to place the community on discover for potential office misconduct.
‘That was non-work habits, no matter one thinks of it,’ McKenna argued. Fox acknowledges suspending Henry for 4 months after his alleged affair grew to become public.
Jennifer Eckhart claimed in a lawsuit that Henry ‘violently raped her’
Choose Abrams grilled Eckhart’s legal professional concerning the significance of the stripper incident, asking whether or not Henry having an affair or allegedly being put into therapy for a intercourse dependancy ought to have put Fox on discover that he would harass workers.
‘They need to have had a heightened consciousness to concentrate,’ Willemin replied, insisting that the stripper incident was ‘only the start.’
Choose Henry has not but dominated on the motions to dismiss filed by Fox Information, Henry, and different events to the case.
Earlier this month, Henry filed go well with towards NPR, CNN and three of their journalists – Brian Stelter, Alisyn Camerota and David Folkenflik – for a way they reported Eckhart’s rape allegations towards him.
He has at all times denied her claims, insisting that they had a consensual relationship. He says he was fired as an alternative to distract the general public from CEO Suzanne Scott ‘overlaying up’ an alleged affair that the corporate president, Jay Wallace, was having with an worker.
Fox stated in a press release to DailyMail.com that it carried out a ‘full and impartial investigation of the claims towards Jay Wallace’ and ‘he was cleared of any wrongdoing and the allegations are false.’
On Thursday, Henry sued Scott for defamation for portray him as a ‘intercourse felony’ and now he has additionally sued CNN, NPR and the three journalists for a way they reported the story again in July 2020.
He tweeted a hyperlink to the lawsuit and promised it would not be the final.
Eckhart’s lawsuit claims that Henry ‘preyed upon, manipulated and groomed Ms Eckhart beginning on the younger age of 24 by exerting his abuse of energy over her and her profession’.
Eckkhart’s lawsuit features a string of WhatsApp messages Henry, 49, allegedly despatched to Eckhart by which he calls her his ‘little w***e’ and refers to their relationship in graphic phrases
Former Fox Information anchor Ed Henry is pictured together with his spouse Shirley
It claims he first started flirting along with her in 2014 after she had graduated and that though she was ‘not romantically ‘ in him, she joined him for a drink after he continued in his advances.
She claims Henry invited her to his New York Marriott Marquis lodge room, ‘ripped off her garments’ and she or he had intercourse with him ‘fearing that her profession can be over if she refused.’
Eckhart claims that Henry compelled her to carry out oral intercourse on him in a visitor workplace within the New York Metropolis workplaces in September 2015.
‘When she wouldn’t comply voluntarily, he sexually assaulted her on workplace property, and raped her at a lodge the place Fox Information regularly lodged its visiting workers, thereby facilitating, whether or not knowingly or unknowingly, Mr. Henry’s conduct,’ the lawsuit states.
Eckhart’s go well with included quite a few textual content messages allegedly from Henry, together with messages from Valentine’s Day 2017: ‘F**ok you and your protected phrase,’ adopted by ‘You’ll know after I’m finished.’
Henry alleges that the messages have been cherrypicked and brought out of context, and submitted a court docket submitting together with his personal screenshots of salacious textual content messages and lewd images that Eckhart allegedly despatched him.
In a press release, Fox advised DailyMail.com on the time: ‘As we said one yr in the past, FOX Information Media carried out a radical impartial investigation into Ed Henry instantly after we have been made conscious of a critical misconduct declare towards him by a former worker. Based mostly on the outcomes of these findings, we promptly terminated Mr. Henry’s employment for willful sexual misconduct and stand by the choice totally.
‘We’re absolutely ready to vigorously defend towards these baseless allegations as Mr. Henry additional embarrasses himself in a lawsuit rife with inaccuracies after driving his private life into the bottom with numerous extramarital affairs in a determined try for relevance and redemption.’
It added: ‘Beneath the management of CEO Suzanne Scott, FOX Information Media has labored tirelessly to remodel the corporate tradition, implementing annual, necessary in-person harassment prevention coaching, creating a wholly new reporting construction, greater than tripling the scale of our HR footprint, conducting quarterly firm conferences and mentoring occasions, in addition to executing a zero tolerance coverage concerning office misconduct for which we have interaction outdoors impartial companies to deal with investigations.’