Fox Business Network host Charles Payne "categorically denies" accusations of sexual harassment made against him by a female political analyst who once appeared on the network, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times Thursday.
A Fox Business Network spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday Payne has been suspended while they look into the allegations, saying in a statement, "We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct. This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner." Payne, host of Making Money, is a Wall Street financial analyst and has worked at Fox Business Network since it launched in 2007.
Payne admitted on Wednesday to the National Enquirer that he had a "romantic relationship" lasting three years with a married political analyst who frequently appeared on various shows on Fox Business Network and Fox News from 2013 to 2016, and apologized to his wife, children, and friends. The woman, whose name is not being shared by the Times, said she was coerced into the relationship by Payne, and went along with it because she was afraid of reprisals. After she ended things in 2015, the woman said she was blackballed, and no longer appeared on the networks. She also said she tried to tell network executives about the relationship, and finally contacted Fox's law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison with her story after being ignored.
This is just the latest sexual harassment allegation against a Fox personality; last year, former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes; earlier this year several women came forward with accusations against former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly; and earlier this week, a top executive at Fox Sports, Jamie Horowitz, was fired amid allegations of misconduct.