Fox News has settled a lawsuit filed by former host Britt McHenry, who alleged she was sexually harassed by the network’s pro wrestler turned commentator Tyrus.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the motion to dismiss the suit filed by both parties Monday in federal court in New York.
“While Fox News is confident it would have prevailed in the lawsuit, we are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter without further litigation,” a Fox News representative said in a statement.
The suit filed in December 2019 alleged that Tyrus, whose real name is George Murdoch, sent McHenry sexually suggestive text messages and photos and behaved inappropriately toward her when they were teamed in 2018 as co-hosts on the Fox Nation streaming show “Un-PC.” She also alleged Murdoch created a hostile work environment on the set of the program after she rebuffed his advances.
Fox News brought in two outside law firms to investigate the allegations. Neither inquiry supported McHenry’s claims, according to the company, which led to her filing the lawsuit.
“I am very proud to have to stood up for my rights and hope that I have empowered other women to do the same. Although I fully stand by the truth of my allegations, I am pleased to put this matter behind me and move forward with my career,” McHenry said in a statement.
McHenry, 35, is no longer an employee of Fox News.
Murdoch, who is not related to the family that controls the Fox News parent company, was also named in the suit. A frequent contributor to Fox News’ late-night program hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Murdoch remained on the network after the company’s investigation cleared him.
“Tyrus is pleased that the parties have reached a settlement in which the claims against him will be dismissed with prejudice,” a representative for Murdoch said in a statement. “Tyrus continues to dispute and deny the allegations made against him in the lawsuit and, consistent with that view, will not be making any financial payments.”
Fox News has been fielding sexual harassment complaints since the issue first exploded at the company when former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against the founding Chief Executive Roger Ailes in July 2016.
Fox News’ parent company later issued an extraordinary apology to Carlson and agreed to pay $20 million to settle the lawsuit against Ailes.
Harassment allegations and financial settlements to female employees who complained also led to the departure of Bill O’Reilly, host of the longtime, top-rated prime-time show at Fox News. O’Reilly was fired in April 2017 and saw his network television career end as a result of the allegations, which he has denied.
Murdoch is a heavily tattooed former pro wrestler — he performed in the WWE as Brodus Clay — who became a Fox News contributor in 2016.
McHenry is a one-time ESPN correspondent who became infamous through a viral security camera video that showed her berating a towing company employee while retrieving her vehicle from a parking lot. When McHenry, who is white, was let go from ESPN during a round of layoffs in 2017, she said her race was a factor.
McHenry and Murdoch were teamed at the launch of Fox Nation, the subscription-based streaming service operated by Fox News Media.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.