Former Fox News guest Cathy Areu is suing the network, claiming they stopped hiring her after she turned down show hosts’ demands sex. We have five things to know about Cathy.
Longtime Fox News commentator Cathy Areu has joined forces with former Fox News employee Jennifer Eckhart to sue the network, claiming it didn’t take enough action over claims of sexual harassment and retaliation by some of the network’s top stars. In lawsuit paperwork filed on July 20 and obtained by HollywoodLife.com, Jennifer claimed that fired anchor Ed Henry sexually assaulted her on several occasions. Cathy is alleging that Ed sent her lewd photos and messages. She also claims that popular news hosts Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz also propositioned her for sex, and retaliated against her when she rebuffed their alleged advances.
Fox put out a statement obtained by HollywoodLife.com, saying that after an extensive outside investigation, Cathy’s claims against Tucker, Howard, Sean Hannity and others at the network “are false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit.” HollywoodLife.com has reached out to Cathy and Jennifer’s attorneys. We’ve got five facts about Cathy.
1. Cathy has made claims that Sean Hannity humiliated her in front of his studio crew. In the lawsuit, Cathy says that the 58-year-old Fox News host pulled out a $100 bill and demanded that someone in his studio to take her out to dinner after one of her appearances on his show. The lawsuit reads, “Ms. Areu was a relatively regular face on The Sean Hannity Show until March 8, 2018. On that day, Mr. Hannity, on set and in front of the entire studio crew – and completely unsolicited – threw $100 on the set desk. He then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks at Del Friscos.”
2. Cathy alleges that a Fox News kept bringing her on as a guest, but wouldn’t hire her full-time unless she slept with one of their male anchors. In the lawsuit paperwork, she alleges, “Fox News strung Ms. Areu along as a candidate for a full time position, all while she was being sexually harassed and retaliated against. In reality, Ms. Areu was never going to get a full time position unless and until she engaged in sexual activity with one or more male anchors. Indeed, as a decades-tenured cameraman explained to Ms. Areu, it is well known that the way for women to get ahead at Fox News is to sleep with the male anchors and executives. As described in detail herein, Ms. Areu’s career at Fox News was derailed because she refused to do so.”
3. Cathy alleges that Ed Henry sent her sexual messages and images. The women’s lawsuit reads, “Ms. Eckhart was not the only victim of Fox News’ willingness to look the other way as complaints of sexual harassment mounted against Mr. Henry. Ms. Areu was victimized as well. In particular, Mr. Henry sent Ms. Areu a slew of wildly inappropriate sexual images and messages – which are in her possession – throughout the first half of this year.” Ed was fired by the network on July 1, 2020 after a former employee accused him of willful sexual misconduct. Based on a third party law firm investigation’s findings, Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace wrote in an email to employees that, “Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated.” Ed’s lawyer tells HollywoodLife.com in a statement about Jennifer and Cathy’s lawsuit that, “The Me Too movement has helped to bring to light a number of injustices in our society, and everyone that has suffered deserves to be heard. This is not one of those cases. ”
3. Cathy and Jennifer’s lawsuit against Fox claims the network is “protecting” sexual harassment “perpetrators.” In the lawsuit paperwork obtained by HollywoodLife.com, it reads, “Fox News continues to protect and reward perpetrators of sexual harassment and refuses to take accountability for putting such persons in positions of power from which they can subject women to sexual misconduct, sexual assault and, in the case of Ms. Eckhart, rape. Some of the names in leadership may have changed since Roger Ailes’ regime, but Fox News’ institutional apathy towards sexual misconduct has not.”
4. Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson is cheering on Cathy and Jennifer. After news of their lawsuit broke, Gretchen tweeted, “I stand w/@JenniferEckhartand #CathyAreu 2 immensely brave women who now have their voices heard. I know how hard it is to come forward w/ allegations. We won’t cower in a corner anymore. We are standing up, we are fierce & being heard @LiftOurVoicesUS.” Gretchen, 54, sued longtime Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment after she was fired in July 2016. After she filed suit,other women came forward with similar accusations against Ailes. Gretchen ended up receiving $20 million in a settlement with the network’s parent company, 20th Century Fox.
5. Cathy has appeared as a guest on numerous Fox News programs on a regular basis throughout the past 12 years. As noted in the lawsuit, “Ms. Areu first appeared on Fox News in 2008. In the 12 years that followed, Ms. Areu has appeared on Fox News hundreds of times, including on “Fox and Friends (and “Fox and Friends First”), “Watters World,” “Media Buzz,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Outnumbered,” “The Kelly File,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” She has also appeared on many Fox Nation shows, including “Quiz Show,” “Deep Dive,” “The Lawrence Jones Show,” “Keeping Up With Jones” and “Moms.” For the vast majority of the last three years, Ms. Areu has been on Fox News five or more times per week. In addition to her on-air work, Ms. Areu had a monthly op-ed that was published on Fox News’ website.”