FOX NEWS PLAYS OFFENSE ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATION

Carlson, Hannity & Harris

Fox News filed a letter Wednesday threatening sanctions against Wigdor LLP, which initially represented Cathy Areu, one of the women who accused top Fox News talent of sexual misconduct in July – according to TheWrap.

Areu, Fox News’ lawyers at Proskauer Rose LLP say, engaged in “serious misconduct by making patently false allegations of sexual misconduct” against on-air hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Howard Kurtz and Gianno Caldwell.

Areu’s co-plaintiff, Jennifer Eckhart, also accused Ed Henry of misconduct. Fox News has not disputed the accusations against Henry from the two women and fired him in July.

In the letter, obtained and reviewed by TheWrap, lawyers for Fox News request the judge “object to the request by Plaintiff Cathy Areu for an extension of time to respond to the Fox News Defendants’ Rule 11 Notice,” which was served on Aug. 7.

“The request for an extension should be denied because Areu and Wigdor have engaged in serious misconduct by making patently false allegations of sexual misconduct against Carlson, Hannity, and Kurtz. The allegations violate Rule 11 because they are contradicted by e-mails and text messages within Areu’s own possession, which demonstrate that she knew her claims to be false and that Wigdor either knew the same or should have known through the most basic investigation. These false allegations have inflicted serious reputational harm on the Defendants, and this harm has been exacerbated by the sensationalized press release that Wigdor issued, which caused the false allegations to be widely reported in the news media,” the lawyers for the cable news giant argued.

A representative for Wigdor called Fox News’ claims “preposterous” and pointed TheWrap to the letter filed in response, which requests the judge prohibit the network’s lawyers from filing a motion for sanctions. The letter says, “To be clear, the Rule 11 Motion is frivolous. In light of the allegations and facts in this case, dismissal is not warranted, much less sanctions.”

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