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The top executive at Fox News banned one of her star reporters from asking questions about the NFL’s National Anthem controversy out of fear it would blow a multi-billion dollar deal to air football games that was being negotiated, a bombshell lawsuit charges.
The suit filed by news anchor and White House correspondent Ed Henry against Fox News and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Scott also claims another reason for the muzzling was Scott was “tired of “carrying water”’ for then-President Donald Trump.
The explosive allegations are contained in court papers filed Wednesday by Henry’s attorney Brian M. Block of Mandelbaum Salzberg in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, where Scott lives.
Henry was fired by Fox in July 2020, after Fox producer Jennifer Eckhart filed a civil lawsuit alleging Henry had raped her. Henry quickly denied the claims, and said he had a consensual relationship with Eckhart. That case remains in litigation.
According to Henry’s suit, Fox Vice President Lauren Petterson told Henry that Scott was angling for a new position elsewhere in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire because “she was tired of the pressure at Fox News.’’
“Ms. Petterson said Ms. Scott was willing to do anything to keep the Murdochs happy, and for that reason she was trying to distance herself from the many controversies surrounding Fox News,’’ the suit states.
Petterson confided to Henry that as a result, Fox News’ producers acting at Scott’s direction “were suddenly and sharply downplaying any stories about athletes kneeling for the National Anthem, even though Fox News had previously covered these stories relentlessly,’’ according the suit.
Henry “learned about this new policy because he was scheduled to interview former collegiate and professional football coach Lou Holtz, but he was banned from asking Mr. Holtz about the anthem controversy.’’