allegations
July 20, 2020

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Jennifer Eckhart, a former Fox Business associate producer, alleges that she was raped by ex-Fox News anchor Ed Henry.

The suit, filed in a New York federal court, claims that Henry "preyed upon, manipulated, and groomed Ms. Eckhart" to have a sexual relationship with him, and he told her if she did not go along with his sexual demands, she would receive "punishment and retaliation," BuzzFeed News reports. Eckhart also accused Henry of sexually assaulting her in the office and raping her at a hotel.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Cathy Areu, a regular guest on Fox News, was sexually harassed by Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Howard Kurtz and political analyst Gianno Caldwell; she also claims that Henry sent her sexually explicit messages and pictures. Areu says that in December 2018, Carlson let her know he was staying at a hotel without his wife and children, allegedly "probing to see whether Ms. Areu was interested in a sexual relationship." After she rebuffed his advances, Areu said she was no longer regularly invited to appear on his show.

Areu also claims that Hannity offered male staffers $100 to take her out on a date, Kurtz retaliated against her when she would not meet him in the lobby of the hotel he was staying in, and Caldwell attempted to coerce her into going on a date with him in exchange for setting up a meeting with right-wing personality Ann Coulter.

Henry was fired earlier this month, and in a statement to BuzzFeed News, Fox News said "swift action" was taken after the network learned about the allegations against him. Fox News also said it hired an outside law firm to conduct a "comprehensive independent investigation," which determined that "all of Cathy Areu's claims against Fox News, including its management, as well as its hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Howard Kurtz and its contributor Gianno Caldwell, are false, patently frivolous, and utterly devoid of any merit."

Henry's attorney released a statement denying the allegations, claiming that Eckhart "initiated and completely encouraged a consensual relationship." Catherine Garcia

July 16, 2020

Fifteen former Washington Redskins employees, all women, told The Washington Post that during their time working for the team, they experienced sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

The allegations span from 2006 to 2019. One former marketing coordinator, Emily Applegate, told the Post would cry several times a week after being berated by her boss; he would tell her she was "f--king stupid" and then immediately compliment her on her body. "It was the most miserable experience of my life," Applegate told the Post. "And we all tolerated it, because we knew if we complained — and they reminded us of this — there were 1,000 people out there who would take our job in a heartbeat."

The 14 other women spoke with the Post anonymously, and several had signed nondisclosure agreements. Some of the women said they were propositioned while at training camp, while others received unwanted shoulder rubs and pinches and were told to wear tight clothing when meeting with wealthy clients. "It was my first job, so I kind of normalized it," one woman told the Post. "And it was happening to every single one of my female co-workers under the age of 40."

The Redskins had just one full-time employee working in human resources, the women told the Post, and female employees would pull aside new workers to tell them to avoid certain people and places, including a staircase where someone standing at the bottom could look up the skirt of a woman standing at the top.

Two employees flagged by the Post during its investigations were fired: Alex Santos, the director of pro personnel, and Richard Mann II, the assistant director of pro personnel.

The Redskins said it has hired a firm to review the matter and "help the team set new employee standards for the future." The women did not accuse owner Daniel Snyder of sexual harassment, but did say he fostered a toxic environment that encouraged sophomoric behavior and bullying tactics. They do believe that he knew about the inappropriate behavior, as did former team president Bruce Allen. "I would assume Bruce knew, because he sat 30 feet away from me ... and saw me sobbing at my desk several times every week," Applegate told the Post. Snyder declined requests for an interview. Read more at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

March 1, 2020

An attorney for Vanessa Bryant said she is "absolutely devastated" by allegations that Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies shared graphic photos from the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others in January.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the photos showed the crash scene and victims' remains, and first responders were talking about the pictures in the days after the accident. Vanessa Bryant's attorney, Gary Robb, released a statement Sunday saying if the report is accurate, this is an "unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families," and anyone involved must "face the harshest possible discipline."

Robb said that on the day of the crash, Bryant asked the sheriff's department to enact a no-fly zone around the crash scene. "This was of critical important to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims and their families," he said, adding that Sheriff Alex Villanueva "assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families' privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests." The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation on Friday, saying Villanueva is "deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act." Catherine Garcia

August 4, 2019

Actress Afton Williamson announced on Sunday she is not returning to The Rookie next season, saying she was sexually harassed, assaulted, and bullied on the set.

Williamson played LAPD officer Talia Bishop opposite star and executive producer Nathan Fillion. In an Instagram post, Williamson said the incidents took place while shooting episodes throughout the show's first season. Williamson alleged she was bullied by the executive producers and experienced "racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department." She also accused a "recurring guest star" of sexually harassing her and said the "racist commentary and bullying from the hair department head escalated into sexual assault at our wrap party."

Williamson said she told showrunner Alexi Hawley about the sexual harassment, but "it remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised." She decided to leave the show for good after learning that a promised investigation had never been launched, she said, adding, "Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform, so it's time to use my voice." Representatives for Fillion and ABC did not respond to USA Today's request for comment. Catherine Garcia

April 23, 2019

Luke Walton, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and brand new head coach of the Sacramento Kings, has been accused of sexual assault, ABC 7 Los Angeles reports.

The news station obtained court documents showing that sports reporter Kelli Tennant is suing Walton, accusing him of sexual battery, sexual assault, and gender violence. Tennant said the incident took place in Walton's hotel room while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Tennant said she wanted to show him her new book, and once in the room, Walton allegedly forced himself on her twice before she was able to escape.

The Kings released a statement saying the team is "aware of the report" about Walton and "gathering additional information." The Lakers said the alleged incident took place before he became coach, and "at no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA." Catherine Garcia

January 29, 2019

A German United Nations judge named Christoph Flügge has resigned from his role at The Hague, alleging "shocking" meddling in the United Nations' judicial integrity by the United States and Turkey.

Flügge referenced a September speech in which National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) should it move forward with a proposed investigation of alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. For "all intents and purposes," Bolton said at the time, "the ICC is already dead to us."

These "American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate," Flügge said. "It is shocking. I had never heard such a threat. ... It is consistent with the new American line: 'We are number one, and we stand above the law.'"

Flügge also cited actions by Turkey to end the tenure of a Turkish U.N. judge as part of his resignation rationale, describing it as a source of permanent damage to the United Nations' judicial legitimacy. "Every incident in which judicial independence is breached is one too many," he said. "Now there is this case, and everyone can invoke it in the future. Everyone can say: 'But you let Turkey get its way.' This is an original sin. It can't be fixed." Bonnie Kristian

November 28, 2018

Over the last decade, Eric Bauman, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, has routinely made crude sexual remarks, touched people without their consent, and acted physically intimidating, 10 party staffers and political activists told the Los Angeles Times.

Last week, Vice Chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall wrote a letter calling on Bauman to resign due to his "horrific and dehumanizing behavior," and he took a leave of absence. Bauman, a former nurse turned union organizer, is known for being brash, the people who spoke to the Times said, and his inappropriate behavior often took place during work hours. Eight current staffers said he made sexually explicit comments to both men and women, talked about their genitalia, and brought up sexual acts. Bauman, who is gay, also allegedly spoke about being sexually attracted to staffers.

One gay male party official told the Times Bauman asked him during a professional event about his sex life, and he witnessed him taunt staff members over their looks and sexual orientation. Grace Leekley, 21, a temporary staffer, said earlier this month Bauman asked her and digital director Kate Early, 21, if they were having an affair; when they said they weren't, he pushed the issue and said he would be fine with them having a sexual relationship as long as it didn't affect their work. Leekley told the Times she was "really embarrassed, almost ashamed, and uncomfortable."

In a statement, Bauman said he "deeply regrets" if his behavior "has caused pain to any to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I've had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories." He added that he is "immediately" seeking "medical intervention to address serious, ongoing health issues and to begin treatment for what I now realize is an issue with alcohol." Read more about the allegations against Bauman at the Los Angeles Times. Catherine Garcia

November 14, 2018

After being arrested Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence, lawyer Michael Avenatti called the allegations "completely bogus."

Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels, has been a cable news mainstay for the last year. After being arrested in West Los Angeles, Avenatti was booked into jail and released on a $50,000 bond. In a statement, Avenatti thanked Los Angeles Police Department officers for "their professionalism," and denied the "completely bogus" allegations. "I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night," he said. "Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated."

Avenatti also spoke to reporters, saying he's "not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman." When the news first broke about his arrest, TMZ reported that a law enforcement official said Avenatti's estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, filed the report on Tuesday night. Storie-Avenatti's lawyer released a statement saying she was not the woman involved, and "states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone." Catherine Garcia

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