Fox News Channel has terminated veteran anchor Ed Henry after investigating a complaint about “willful sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
Henry, a longtime Washington correspondent who was recently made co-anchor of the Fox Corp.-owned network’s mid-morning program “America’s Newsroom,” was let go quickly after the network received a complaint on June 25 from a former employee about Henry’s behavior from “years ago,” according to a statement from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace. “Ed was suspended the same day and removed from his on-air responsibilities pending investigation. Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated,” the executives said.
“Ed Henry denies the allegations referenced in Fox’s announcement this morning and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum,” said his attorney, Catherine Foti, in a statement Wednesday evening.
The matter was brought to Fox News by Wigdor LLP, a law firm that has in the past represented several former employees who alleged sexual misconduct or discrimination at the media company.
Henry, who recently gained notice on Fox News by detailing his efforts on the network to donate part of his liver to his sister, has faced allegations about his behavior in the past. In 2016, he left Fox News for several months after a tabloid report surfaced regarding an extramarital relationship with a woman in Las Vegas. At the time, Fox News said it was “aware of Ed’s personal issues” and noted he would “be taking some time off to work things out.” According to one person familiar with the matter, former Fox News chief Roger Ailes agreed to keep Henry on board despite the bad publicity the report generated, essentially saving his career.
Fox News said rotating anchors would fill in at “America’s Newsroom” for an interim period. Sandra Smith, who addressed the situation with Henry on Wednesday’s broadcast, will remain on the program in her co-anchor role.
“Fox News Media strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, misconduct and discrimination,” the network executives said in their statement. “We will continue striving to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.”
Henry’s dismissal evokes an era that Fox has tried to leave in the past. After Ailes was ousted in 2016 after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, a number of current and former employees claimed they were harassed or discriminated against. Bill O’Reilly, once the linchpin of Fox’s primetime schedule, was pushed out in 2017 after facing allegations of harassment.
In the past, an on-air address to viewers about legal investigations was not part of the network’s way of doing business. Under Ailes, the network rarely if ever acknowledged its internal matters in the public fashion that Henry’s departure was given. Since coming on board as CEO in 2018, Scott has worked to create a different atmosphere, an acknowledgement that the factors behind Ailes ouster had negative effects on employees. She has reworked human-resources policies and instilled several new senior executives at Fox News Channel.
Henry worked for Roll Call and CNN before joining Fox News Channel in 2011.