Scottie Nell Hughes is suing Fox News.
Former Fox News guest commentator Scottie Nell Hughes has sued Fox News and Fox Business Network host Charles Payne charging that Payne raped her and that the network retaliated against her when she came forward with the allegation.
Hughes filed her suit Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging 21st Century Fox, Fox News and Payne, alleging defamation, gender-motivated violence, retaliation, and discrimination.
Payne, the host of the network’s show Making Money, recently returned to the air after Fox suspended him in July while the company investigated sexual harassment allegations. Payne acknowledged having what he called a “romantic relationship” with a married female political analyst who frequently appeared on Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel.
Eric Chase Bolling Jr., the son of fired Fox News anchor Eric Bolling, died Friday at the age of 19. He was Bolling’s only son with wife Adrienne.
Hughes, a native of Hendersonville, Tenn., is a well-known Trump surrogate and Tennessee conservative who is considering running for Congress now that current Rep. Diane Black, is running for governor in 2018.
Payne’s attorney, Jonathan Halpern, a partner at the Chicago law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, said Payne “vehemently denies any wrongdoing and will defend himself vigorously against this baseless complaint. We are confident that when the evidence is presented in this case, Mr. Payne will be fully vindicated and these outrageous accusations against him will be confirmed as completely false.”
The suit is the latest of several complaints filed against Fox News since the 2016 resignation of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who died in May 2017. Two months later, Fox settled a sexual harassment suit filed against Ailes by former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson.
Fox News has reached a $2.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by former contributor, Tamara Holder, who said she was sexually assaulted by an executive at the network.
In April, Fox dismissed host Bill O’Reilly, after an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.
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