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TV commentator accuses Fox Business host of rape

A former Fox Business Network guest commentator has accused a prominent host of rape , the latest in a series of sexual misconduct allegations to rock the broadcaster .

Scottie Nell Hughes, 37 , filed a civil lawsuit Monday in federal court in New York against presenter Charles Payne and Fox News , according to documents reviewed by AFP .

According to Hughes ’ lawsuit , Payne , who hosts “ Making Money” on the Fox Business channel , raped her in a hotel room in July 2013. But she maintained a sexual relationship with him for almost two years, believing that this would give her more opportunities to appear on air.

During that time, she appeared regularly not only on Payne ’ s programme but also on other Fox Business programmes and on Fox News , both subsidiaries of 21 st Century Fox.

After ending the relationship in June 2015 , Hughes said her appearances rapidly decreased , with her final appearance in March 2016 .

She said she learned from Fox employees that they had been instructed to stop booking her .

The media company also compromised her chances of securing a position in the new Trump administration , Hughes alleged .

In June, Hughes’ manager contacted the law firm investigating a culture of sexual misconduct at Fox, which came after several women accused male journalists and executives of harassment and other misdeeds .
Payne was suspended from his job in July as an investigation was carried out . He returned to work this month .

According to the lawsuit , Fox leaked Hughes ’ name to the National Enquirer tabloid, which ran a salacious story in July about the affair.

In a statement sent to AFP , Payne ’ s lawyer dismissed Hughes’ charges as completely false, and said he was confident that his client would be cleared. The Fox News channel also said the lawsuit was unfounded .

This new allegation follows a series of scandals at Fox linked to sexual harassment.
In July 2016 , Fox News’ s powerful chairman Roger Ailes left the company following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct .

In April, the network parted ways with its star anchor Bill O’ Reilly following a flood of sexual harassment accusations that triggered a crash in advertising sales.

In July , Jamie Horowitz , who oversaw programming for Fox Sports , was abruptly fired in Los Angeles over allegations of misconduct.

And in early September , Fox News announced its decision to “ part ways amicably ” with former host Eric Bolling following sexual harassement allegations.

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