Fox News said Wednesday that Ed Henry, one of its leading news anchors, was fired after a sexual harassment complaint arrived last week.
“On Thursday, June 25, we received a complaint about Ed Henry from a former employee’s attorney involving willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace wrote in an email to employees.
Scott and Wallace said that Henry was “suspended on the same day and suspended from his duties on the air,” while a third-party law firm was investigating the matter.
“Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated,” they said.
Scott and Wallace said that the “rotating anchors” will replace Henry, who co-anchored the morning show of the America News channel until a permanent replacement is called.
“Fox News Media strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination,” Scott and Wallace said. “We will continue striving to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.”
Henry did not respond to requests for comment, but on Wednesday afternoon, his lawyer Katherine Foti announced that she intended to clear her name.
“Ed Henry denies the allegations referenced in the Fox announcement and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum,” Foti said.
The high-profile attorney Douglas Wigdor representing several women who have filed lawsuits against Fox News, said Wednesday morning that he represents prosecutor Henry. Wigdor said that at present he “does not have the right to share additional information.”
Henry’s dismissal news stunned Fox News employees who found out about the sudden termination of work by email, CNN Business reported on the net.
Henry joined Fox in 2011 after seven years at CNN. He covered the Obama administration as the Fox White House chief correspondent. He later led most of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign network coverage.
However, in the spring of 2016, he turned aside after the magazine published a report on extramarital affairs. Fake stories led the then CEO of the network, Roger Ailes, to publicly rebuke him by saying that “this raises serious questions about Ed’s lack of judgment, especially given his position as a journalist.”
Henry eventually worked his way back into Fox’s good graces. He filled in on pro-Trump opinion shows like “Fox & Friends Weekend” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” winning the affections of Fox viewers.
His decision in 2019 to donate part of his liver to save the life of his sister Colleen was recorded on all Fox shows. Both siblings recovered, and Henry wrote memoirs about the experience that was supposed to be in September. However, on Wednesday, a spokesman for the publishing house, William Morrow, said the publisher “will no longer publish” Henry’s book.
Henry was a favorite of network management. Last winter, he was named one of the presenters at 9, 10, and 11 am Eastern time with Sandra Smith at “America’s Newsroom.”
Smith briefly talked about being fired on the show on Wednesday morning, telling viewers that Henry had been fired and that Scott and Wallace had turned to employees in an internal memo to “bring complete transparency” to the issue.
Fox News has been working on reforming its culture in recent years after facing high-profile allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
A few months after Henry was on the sidelines, Ailes was kicked out of Fox News after numerous women stepped forward and accused him of sexual harassment and assault. The scandal laid bare deep-rooted cultural issues at Fox, triggered numerous lawsuits, and forced the Murdochs to make drastic changes.
Bill O’Reilly, once the main star of the network, was ousted from the network less than a year after allegations of sexual harassment, which he also denied.
After the scandals, Scott and Wallace emphasized that the corporate culture has been cleared.