Fox News contributor Britt McHenry, who is suing former co-host George “Tyrus” Murdoch and a handful of Fox executives over accusations that she faced sexual harassment and alleged retaliation after she came forward about it, may have found herself in some hot water after she apparently “lost” text messages and other phone data said to lend credence to her claims.
According to Law & Crime, attorneys for Fox recently accused McHenry of engaging in a “long-running pattern of deception” and asked the judge in the case to order her to turn over all of her electronic devices for a “neutral forensic examination” to determine if she deleted any other messages relevant to her allegations.
Fox doubles down
The request to Judge Paul Engelmayer was contained in a letter submitted to the court by attorneys for Fox News, who asked for a court order compelling McHenry to “submit her electronic devices for a neutral forensic examination to determine whether she lost or destroyed text messages critical to her claims.”
“Plaintiff has never produced the actual texts” that form the basis of her allegations, the attorneys argued. “Instead, she has produced only a ‘log’ of the texts, which are incomplete and cannot be independently verified.”
The letter continued: “Now we know why: After more than a year of litigation, Plaintiff claimed for the first time on January 4 of this year that she ‘lost’ her phone on a trip in July 2019 — six months before she filed this lawsuit.”
The attorneys charged that McHenry’s “repeated offers to allow a forensic examination of her phone were thus based on a long-running pattern of deception involving several misrepresentations to Fox News and this Court.”
“Accordingly, the only way to determine whether relevant texts were lost or deleted is to conduct a full forensic examination of all of Plaintiff’s remaining devices, which may contain backups of the phone that she claims to have lost,” the lawyers said.
“Nothing to hide”
A spokesperson for the firm representing McHenry told Law & Crime that their client “has offered her devices to be forensically examined because she has nothing to hide.”
They offered a similar message last month.
“Britt has already provided all of the relevant text messages, which she downloaded before she lost her phone, to the investigators and in discovery,” McHenry’s attorney told Law & Crime in January. “We have also offered a forensic examination of her laptop and cloud to obtain any and all messages between her and [Murdoch]. She has nothing to hide.”
Lawyers for Fox assert that the messages and data provided by McHenry to this point don’t indicate sexual harassment, however.
Instead, they say the messages show “a consensual exchange of lewd banter, as found by independent investigators” previously hired by Fox to look into the matter, Law & Crime reported.