Ex-Fox News anchor allegedly released explicit photos to shame rape accuser
A former Fox News anchor tried to “humiliate” and victim-shame an ex-staffer who is suing him for rape by releasing sexually explicit images and messages she allegedly sent him, her lawyers claim in a new federal filing.
Lawyers for Ed Henry, who was fired over the allegations in July, filed a motion to dismiss accuser Jennifer Eckhart’s Manhattan federal suit and included the raunchy pictures.
Eckhart’s lawyer Michael Willemin blasted Henry and his attorney Catherine Foti for choosing to “publicly file such personal and intimate images of Ms. Echkart to humiliate and retaliate against her for her decision to speak out against sexual abuse.”
In court papers, Willemin called the tactic “blatant victim shaming” and “simply abhorrent.” The pornographic exhibits have since been temporarily sealed until the judge makes a final ruling.
In the motion to dismiss, lawyers for the axed co-host of Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” called Eckhart a “willing, consenting and enthusiastic participant in their relationship” and supplied the raunchy sexts and images to prove it.
The photos feature Eckhart’s “naked breasts, photos of buttocks in a thong, and closeups of her vagina” which were sent before and after she alleges Henry handcuffed and raped her in a Manhattan hotel in 2017, court papers allege.
“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,” according to her complaint.
Eckhart, who worked at Fox Business and names the Fox News Network in the suit, says the married father of two “preyed upon, manipulated and groomed” her into a relationship that started in 2014.
Fox News has argued in the filings that Eckhart didn’t report the rape allegation to the network until after she was fired and her claims against it should be dismissed.
“As soon as the company learned of the allegations, it immediately investigated and then terminated Henry within days,” wrote Fox’s lawyers, who said Eckhart worked in a separate division of the network and was not under Henry’s supervision.
“Eckhart does not allege any facts to suggest that Fox News had any prior knowledge of Henry’s alleged abuse, or even that the company could have known.”
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