Fox News contributor Britt McHenry on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Fox News, a number of network employees, and Fox’s parent company, alleging the cable outlet attempted to retaliate against her in response to a sexual-harassment complaint she filed against her former co-host Tyrus.
The lawsuit, filed by attorney Lisa Bloom in the Southern District of New York, names Tyrus, Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Corp, News Corp, Fox Nation chief John Finley, Fox Nation executive producer Jennifer Cunningham, and a human-resources employee.
The legal action follows a complaint McHenry filed with New York State’s Division of Human Rights last month after Fox News conducted a second investigation into McHenry’s sexual misconduct claims against Tyrus, who was previously her co-host of Fox Nation show Un-PC.
In the suit, McHenry alleges the network reacted to her accusations against Tyrus by refusing to book her on Fox News programs, essentially “shunning her,” and “shutting her out of company events.” The conservative pundit also claims that when she complained to HR and management, the network “asked what Ms. McHenry did to provoke her harasser."
McHenry further accuses Tyrus and his friend, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, of using social media to mock Fox’s investigation of the sexual-misconduct claims. She also alleges that Gutfeld reached out to the co-founder of The Federalist to “criticize him for supporting Ms. McHenry.” (McHenry is an occasional contributor to the right-wing website.)
“Ms. McHenry’s lawsuit recycles the same allegations she filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights in October, to which we filed a response on Friday,” a Fox News spokesperson said in response to the Tuesday lawsuit. “As we have previously stated, Ms. McHenry’s allegations have been fully investigated and we are confident our actions will be deemed entirely appropriate in litigation. We expect all of her claims to be dismissed.”
"I am standing up for myself, for women and for what’s right," McHenry said in a Tuesday evening tweet. "I have maintained the same allegations because the truth doesn’t change. I feel for any sexual harassment victim who has their story and evidence dismissed, doubted and not believed."
Earlier this year, The Daily Beast reported that Tyrus was booted off Un-PC after McHenry complained that Tyrus, a former professional wrestler-turned-pundit, sent her unwanted text messages including lewd sexual remarks.
Some of the text messages that were later made public revealed Tyrus telling McHenry to just “pull your boobs out now,” warning her that if she kept “being negative” he would send her “another dick pic.” In the lawsuit itself, McHenry added other texts from her former co-star: "I love your legs...Is it creepy how I look at you ???//FYI you'll need those legs to escape from me in Montana."
Following the allegations, Tyrus was given his own Fox Nation program called NUFFSAID while McHenry continues to host Un-PC. While McHenry almost never appears on mothership Fox News, however, Tyrus continues to make regular weekly appearances on Gutfeld’s weekend show and The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.