Ed Henry’s Defamation Lawsuit Against CNN And NPR Dismissed – Update
UPDATED with dismissal: Ex-Fox News host Ed Henry’s defamation lawsuit against NPR and CNN has been voluntarily dismissed.
A federal judge granted dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice last week, according to a document filed in U.S. District in New York. Under the terms, the parties will bear their own costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees. Court records show that the dismissal followed talks between the parties to resolve the case.
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Henry sued NPR and reporter David Folkenflik, as well as CNN and two of its on-air personalities, Brian Stelter and Alisyn Camerota, over their reporting on his dismissal from Fox News. Henry was fired from Fox News in 2020 for alleged sexual misconduct.
Henry’s attorney an a representative for CNN did not immediately return a request for comment.
NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara said, “We stand behind David Folkenflik’s journalism on this story and are proud of the rigor he always brings to his reporting.“
Folkenflik wrote on Twitter, “Fox News host Ed Henry’s lawsuit against me and NPR has been voluntarily dismissed. We disclosed existence of a memo warning top Fox News execs agst promoting Henry well before his firing. We have not stepped away from a syllable of our report.”
Last year, Henry also sued Fox News and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott. Oral arguments are scheduled for June 7 in the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
PREVIOUSLY, July 1, 2021: Ex-Fox News Host Ed Henry filed two more defamation lawsuits today in US District Court in New York, naming National Public Radio’s David Folkenflik and CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and Brian Stelter (as well as their CNN parent, Turner Broadcasting) for their allegedly defamatory commentary and reporting on his firing by Fox News.
The filings follow a similar lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York against Fox News and the channel’s CEO Suzanne Scott. That lawsuit also alleged defamation.
One of the new complaints alleged that Folkenflik, Camerota and Stelter have “longstanding grudges against Fox News and/or individuals associated with the company,” causing them to repeat false allegations on the reasons why Henry was dismissed from Fox News relating to alleged sexual misconduct.
The suit claims the defendants acted with malice toward Henry by “intentionally or recklessly making false statements about him.”
The other complaint names some minor websites and Twitter users (referred to by their handles) that repeated the allegations. It also named Thrive Media, which published an article by Jennifer Eckhart, who made the original misconduct allegations against Henry, which he has vigorously denied.
NPR executive director of communications Isabel Lara issued a response to Henry’s lawsuit.
“NPR stands behind David Folkenflik’s reporting and will vigorously defend it against this meritless claim. Millions of Americans trust NPR to provide accurate information about the world and their communities every day; we take this responsibility very seriously.”
CNN said that they had “no comment” on Henry’s latest legal action.
The filing can be viewed here and here.
PREVIOUSLY, June 30 5:59 PM: Ed Henry, who was fired last year from Fox News for alleged sexual misconduct, is suing the news channel and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott for defamation.
The lawsuit contends that Scott “publicly smeared” Henry “and ultimately defamed him as a sex criminal. It also alleges that Scott was part of a cover-up of other cases of sexual misconduct in Rupert Murdoch’s companies, and that Henry was fired “in order to divert attention from Ms. Scott’s long history of covering up actual misconduct.”
Specifically, Henry’s lawsuit cites a human resources investigation of Jay Wallace, the president of Fox News, who allegedly had a relationship with a subordinate. That employee allegedly received a “plum assignment” elsewhere in the company.
Henry’s lawsuit adds that he will “bypass any nondisclosure agreements” that may have been signed by current or former Fox News employees (former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson and former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone are named) by using subpoenas and forcing them to testify.
Fox News responded with three separate statements addressing Henry’s lawsuit and the allegations therein against Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace.
“As we stated one year ago, Fox News Media conducted a thorough independent investigation into Ed Henry immediately after we were made aware of a serious misconduct claim against him by a former employee. Based on the results of those findings, we promptly terminated Mr. Henry’s employment for willful sexual misconduct and stand by the decision entirely. We are fully prepared to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations as Mr. Henry further embarrasses himself in a lawsuit rife with inaccuracies after driving his personal life into the ground with countless extramarital affairs in a desperate attempt for relevance and redemption.”
Fox also addressed Scott’s inclusion.
“Under the leadership of CEO Suzanne Scott, Fox News Media has worked tirelessly to transform the company culture, implementing annual, mandatory in-person harassment prevention training, creating an entirely new reporting structure, more than tripling the size of our HR footprint, conducting quarterly company meetings and mentoring events, as well as executing a zero tolerance policy regarding workplace misconduct for which we engage outside independent firms to handle investigations. No other company has enacted such a comprehensive and continuous overhaul, which notably, earned FOX News Media recognition as a “Great Place to Work” for the first time in its existence, a testament to the many cultural changes that Ms. Scott has instituted during her incredibly successful tenure as CEO.”
Finally, Fox gave a statement on Wallace.
“Fox conducted a full and independent investigation of the claims against Jay Wallace — he was cleared of any wrongdoing and the allegations are false.”
The complete legal papers can be found here.
Henry was the host of America’s Newsroom, but was terminated after an outside investigation of a complaint involving alleged “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago.”
Henry joined Fox News from CNN as chief White House correspondent in 2011. He was responsible for co-anchoring three hours of morning news coverage on the network, co-hosting the Fox News program opposite Smith since early 2020, replacing Bill Hemmer. He was previously FNC’s chief national correspondent and anchored Americas News HQ Weekend.
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