(CN) – Fox Nation host Britt McHenry claims in a federal complaint Tuesday in New York that her former co-host George “Tyrus” Murdoch sexually harassed her by making lewd comments about her body and threatening to send her dick pics.
The complaint comes in the wake of more than $100 million in payouts for sexual harassment claims against Fox News, which now claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
“This is a dangerous lie,” the complaint states. “In practice, Fox News remains a sanctuary for sexual harassers, coddling and enabling the men who abuse female employees. Even in 2019, Fox News' actions demonstrate a great deal of tolerance for a male employee who repeatedly propositioned his female co-host in texts, rewarding him with his own show.”
The lawsuit adds that the only “‘zero tolerance’ Fox News has demonstrated” is for McHenry, who complained about sexual harassment four times. The network refused to investigate some of her claims, shut her out of company events and refused to allow her on Fox News shows, according to the complaint.
McHenry, a host on the streaming service Fox Nation, claims in the suit filed in the Southern District of New York that her former co-host Murdoch, who is also a professional wrestler, made several comments about her butt and legs.
“The picture looks so good I would knock the picture up crazy sexy love your legs,” Murdoch allegedly texted her.
The complaint contends the former co-host sent other offensive messages that made jokes about McHenry’s professionalism, stating that she is always working and that, if the co-hosts ever had sex, she would be right back to work after her “orgazzum.”
According to the suit, Murdoch threatened in a text that he would send “another dick pic” if McHenry continued to “be so negative.”
McHenry claims that she was punished for reporting the harassment while Murdoch was given his own show, “Nuff Said With Tyrus.” Murdoch goes by the moniker “Tyrus.”
Fox News, also named as a defendant in the suit, said McHenry's already made her claims elsewhere and expects a full dismissal.
“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 by email. “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.”
Murdoch released a statement on Twitter from his lawyer denying the allegations.
“It’s telling that Vanity Fair, TMZ, and other outlets reported on the lawsuit before McHenry’s lawyers contacted us about it,” said Tom Clare, an attorney for Murdoch. “Tyrus denies the allegations in the lawsuit and will be defending it vigorously. He looks forward to having a public forum in the court system to clear his name from the smear campaign that has been waged against him in the media. Tyrus will be pursuing defamation counterclaims.
After filing a harassment complaint with Fox News, McHenry claims that she faced retaliatory action from the network and that her complaints went ignored while she was working on Fox’s show “Un-PC.” The executive producer for “Un-PC,” Jennifer Rauchet, did not report on-set issues to Fox’s human resources and told McHenry she was “replaceable,” according to the 32-page complaint.
McHenry also alleges that Tyrus displayed erratic behavior on set in which the co-host would throw “temper tantrums.”
“Mr. Murdoch began displaying volatile and unpredictable behavior at work,” the complaint states. “Despite his bizarre behavior, Ms. McHenry put forth considerable effort to try and appease him and maintain a jovial relationship with him so as to not be the next victim of his lashing out.”
McHenry seeks relief for intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages against Tyrus and the Fox News Network. She is represented by attorney Lisa Bloom.
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