Former Fox News guest commentator Scottie Nell Hughes settled a lawsuit she brought to the channel after accusing Fox Business host Charles Payne of raping her. Hughes also said the news network blacklisted her from the airwaves after reporting additional sexual claims.
The news was first revealed in a brief settlement note from the Southern District court of New York on Tuesday. The final settlement figure was not revealed and Hughes did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap on Wednesday.
Hughes’ rape claim against “Making Money” anchor Charles Payne and a number of her most damning accusations were thrown out by Judge William Pauley in April. She was, however, allowed to proceed with retaliation and failure to hire claims, which ultimately resulted in the settlement on Tuesday.
“In light of the Opinion and Order issued by Judge William Pauley on April 24, 2018, Fox News Network and Scottie Nell Hughes have reached an agreement to settle Ms. Hughes’s remaining claims that Fox News failed to hire her,” said Fox News in a statement to TheWrap. “All of Ms. Hughes’s other claims had previously been dismissed by the Court.”
Coming at the height of the MeToo movement, the charges were met with swift actions and Payne was temporarily suspended from his program as the network launched an external investigation — which ultimately cleared him. Payne consistently denied all of the accusations against him.
After years of permissiveness under the leadership of longtime chief Roger Ailes, Fox News has cracked down on sexual misconduct in their ranks. Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, James Rosen and even Ailes himself were all ousted amid the network’s aggressive efforts to clean house.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.