Former Fox News Commentator Claims She Was Raped By Anchor Charles Payne In Blistering Lawsuit — & Fox Allegedly Retaliated Against Her After She Reported It

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It’s been a little over a week since a Fox News anchor has been accused of something gross — which is apparently how long they can go without facing some sort of sexual misconduct scandal.

On Monday, the network was hit with another lawsuit by a political commentator who claims a network anchor raped her.

In a Manhattan Federal Court suit, former commentator Scottie Nell Hughes (above) alleges that Fox Business anchor Charles Payne (above, insert) raped her, and the network retaliated against her when she reported the incident.

Hughes is accusing the network of “victim-shaming” and leaking fake news to the press that suggested the two pundits had a consensual affair.

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The 37-year-old met the Making Money anchor in 2013. According to the suit, the two were in New York that July when Payne “pressured his way into Ms. Hughes’ hotel room for a ├óΓé¼╦£private discussion'” and raped her.

The 56-year-old Payne then allegedly coerced Hughes into a sexual relationship with him in exchange for “career opportunities and benefits” from 2013 to 2016.

Hughes claims Payne made it clear to her that her appearances on Fox shows would cease to exist if she ended things. When she did try to break it off, he allegedly “became enraged and physically violent.”

After cutting ties with the anchor in 2016, Hughes’ bookings at Fox decreased over a 10-month period before ending completely. Her booking agent was later told by a colleague that Hughes “had an affair with someone at Fox and we were told not to book her.”

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In July of 2016, Hughes’ manager reached out to the law firm that was then conducting an internal investigation of Fox amid a storm of sexual harassment scandals involving network CEO Roger Ailes. The lawyers promised to reach out to network execs about getting Hughes off the blacklist.

Hours later, the pundit’s manager got a call from a National Enquirer reporter inquiring about the sour romance between Hughes and Payne — which, according to the suit, was a false story leaked to discredit Hughes.

Payne was temporarily suspended while Hughes’ claims were investigated. The married anchor, who was restored to his on-air position earlier this month, denied Hughes’ “baseless complaint” in a statement from his lawyer on Monday.

The network also denied Hughes’ allegations. A Fox spokeswoman said:

“The latest publicity stunt of a lawsuit filed by (Hughes’ lawyer) Doug Wigdor has absolutely no merit and is downright shameful. We will vigorously defend this.”

But the prosecution isn’t backing down — Wigdor hit back:

“Fox cannot spin its way out of this crisis ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ especially when only Fox is to blame for what happened. Sadly, nothing has changed at Fox.”

Just another week for the scandalized news network.

[Image via Fox News.]

Sep 19, 2017 10:29am PDT

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