The complaint at issue was filed on Monday by former Fox Business Network producer Jennifer Eckhart and former regular on-air Fox News guest Cathy Areu, though some are finding the allegations contained within it to be less-than-credible.
As an example of the harassing and intimidating environment to which Areu claims she was subjected, the lawsuit recounts an instance in which Carlson “changed on set into his leather jacket” before attending a Christmas party, while show technicians refused to remove her microphone or earpiece because the host had asked to speak with her after the show.
Carlson named in lawsuit
Areu characterized this experience as akin to being “tied to her chair,” a contention at which YouTube personality Mark Dice scoffed via Twitter.
“They’re coming for Tucker Carlson with a sexual harassment lawsuit from Cathy Areu the ‘Liberal Sherpa’ who claims she was ‘tied to a chair’ while Tucker ‘changed in front of her,'” Dice tweeted.
“The lawsuit literally says because she had her mic on and earpiece in, she was “tied to the chair” and “couldn’t leave” while he….wait for it….put on his jacket! That’s ‘changing’ in front of her! Putting on a jacket to leave the studio after the show!” he continued.
Some of Dice’s followers called the allegations “a complete joke” but feared that they would be used as an excuse to take Carlson off the air.
Other claims made in the complaint are far more serious, however, such as the allegation that former Fox News contributor Ed Henry sent Areu an array of sexually explicit photos and that he sexually assaulted Eckhart. The Examiner reported earlier this month that Henry was fired by the network amid accusations of serious sexual misconduct.
Fox News released a statement to the Examiner disputing the allegations made by Eckhart and Areu against its employees, except for those involving Henry.
“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,” it read, adding:
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.
The network made a deliberate point of distancing itself from Henry and the accusations against him, stating, “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.”
Whether Eckhart and Areu’s lawsuit gains any traction against anyone besides Henry remains to be seen, but if the leather jacket anecdote is representative of the bulk of the complaint, perhaps it shouldn’t.