Former Contributor Makes Shocking Claim About FOX News Host

The hits keep on coming for Fox News, and we’re not talking about another show that’s crushing competitors in the ratings either. Another explosive lawsuit has been dropped on the conservative network, and this one may be the most shocking of them all. As AOL shares, a former network contributor alleges she was raped by one of the network’s hosts and coerced into an ongoing sexual relationship.

The suit was filed in Manhattan federal court by political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes, and she named veteran Fox Business anchor Charles Payne as the employee that assaulted her. Payne recently returned from a suspension after the network looked into allegations surrounding him, and Hughes claims that she is now being victim-shamed.

“According to court papers, Hughes, 37, met Payne, anchor of 'Making Money,' in 2013 and was invited to appear on his show numerous times. In July 2013, while in New York for a Fox program, Payne 'pressured his way into Ms. Hughes’s hotel room for a "private discussion.”' It was then that Payne raped her, the lawsuit alleged,” AOL reports. “Hughes was 'shocked and ashamed,' the suit said, and didn’t report it. Payne then used his 'sexually motivated favoritism' to get Hughes invited onto other shows and frequently had her appear on 'Making Money,' the lawsuit said. Hughes was coerced into a sexual relationship with Payne in exchange for career opportunities and benefits, the court papers said.”

The sexual relationship is said to have lasted from 2013 to 2016, and she claims that Payne made it clear to her that her career at Fox would be over if she stopped consenting.

“The network suspended Payne in July while it conducted an internal probe of Hughes’ claims. Earlier this month, he was restored to his on-air position when the network finished its probe.
Payne, who is married, wasn’t immediately available to comment Monday. But he denied Hughes’ allegations in July when the story first surfaced,” AOL adds. “Hughes’ lawsuit, alleging gender-motivated violence, gender discrimination, retaliation and defamation, also names Briganti and Dianne Brandi, the executive vice president of legal and business affairs at Fox News, as defendants, along with the network and parent corporations.”

Reports of a consensual affair gone awry between the two has been leaked to the tabloids, but Hughes stands firm in her contentions.

“My complaint speaks for itself. What is most important to me is that justice will prevent other women from going through the nightmare I’m now living,” she said in a statement.

The network has been rocked by a number of allegations of harassment and misconduct that have led to the departure of high-profile names such as Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Eric Bolling. It’s unclear if the suit will affect Payne’s standing at the network as the case plays out, but we would imagine there may be another unplanned hiatus coming up in the future if the case proceeds without being dismissed, settled, or refuted in some other fashion.

Source: AOL
Photo: Gage Skidmore

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