The trial of a former producer alleging rape by former Fox News anchor Ed Henry may have run into a complicated issue: A current Fox News staff member claims his own allegations against Henry were included in wrong in the complaint.
Former Fox News producer Jennifer Eckhart, who alleged earlier this year that she was forcibly raped by Henry during her tenure at Conservative TV and was fired after making allegations of inappropriate behavior at work , filed his third amended complaint against Henry in New York. Federal Court on November 9, 2020.
In the new complaint, Eckhart includes a section detailing allegations made by several other women, including “Jane Doe 1”, a current Fox News employee, who in August told the Daily Beast – speaking anonymously out of fear retaliation from Henry and Fox – that she had had a consensual, sometimes “emotionally abusive” relationship with Henry for nearly four years, ending this spring.
At the time, Doe 1 was explicit about the nature of their affair: “Unlike Ms. Eckhart, I was not raped. However, during a sexual encounter, I was slapped in the face and shocked at the energetic nature.
But Doe 1 was shocked and frustrated to discover that Eckhart’s amended complaint now suggests that Henry “forced her to have inappropriate sex with him on her New York City office at Fox News on June 9, 2019.” “
Calling this allegation “inaccurate,” Doe 1 claimed that she was “not coerced” during this particular incident. “I stand by my claim that he was emotionally abusive, but he did not coerce me into any inappropriate activity that day,” she said. “The relationship was wrong and inappropriate and I regret it every moment of every day, but he didn’t force me into any activity.”
Further, the complaint alleges that “Henry laughed in [Doe 1’s] face, and told her that she “would never be a success” “- an accusation Doe 1 disputes. Henry “didn’t laugh in my face and said I wouldn’t get back to anything when I told him about a promotion. He congratulated me by courier, ”she told the Daily Beast. “However, he told me that I would come back for nothing in an argument on another occasion about my career, via messaging.”
Elsewhere, the amended complaint reports that at the start of her journalistic career, Henry invited Doe 1 to her hotel room in Los Angeles and she took a friend, “Jane Doe 3”, so she wouldn’t go alone. . “Once there, Mr. Henry made the two young women drink alcohol, tried to seduce them and attempted to kiss Ms. Doe 3, who rejected his advances.
This story is also misrepresented in the costume, Doe 1 told The Daily Beast. “As far as I know, the interactions between the parties took place in the public areas of a hotel.”
However, Doe 1 emphasized, “I want to make it clear that I am not looking for excuses for Mr. Henry’s actions. I’m just telling my truth.
Blinded to learn that his informal conversations with Eckhart were used and, in some cases, misrepresented in the latest legal filing, Doe 1 alerted Eckhart’s attorney, Michael J. Willemin, partner at Wigdor LLP to the discrepancies. .
In an email exchange between Doe 1 and Willemin, obtained and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Doe 1 wrote: “[Henry] did not harm me physically or force me into an activity that I did not want. Yes, he was emotionally violent … I hope you will edit the lawsuit to reflect correctness, or leave out the things that are not true. I have helped this cause so much that I shouldn’t feel so vulnerable right now.
And Eckhart’s attorney replied, “Everything we have filed in the lawsuit is based on what you said to Jennifer (including telling her that he coerced you that day). Obviously at some point you can testify about it and all we can ask of you is that you be truthful. I don’t know if this conflict has anything to do with the concerns you are expressing about retaliation, but anyway, I can only rely on what Jennifer told me.
In a statement to the Daily Beast, Willemin wrote: “We expect Jane Doe 1 and others to honestly testify once under oath and that their communications and documents speak for themselves.”
“He told me that the allegations in the trial were based on things I said to Ms. Eckhart,” Doe 1 lamented to the Daily Beast. “If I had known that my stories would have been included in the trial, and if I had given permission, I would have carefully worded and clarified any situation. Speaking casually is different from proper testimony. I did not voluntarily participate in the amended complaint. I was scared when I saw that my stories were included.
Eckhart’s brutal lawsuit against Henry has already seen its fair share of salacious antics, including a recent case in which the former Fox presenter attempted to dismiss the allegations using what victims’ rights activists have called ” revenge pornography ”against his accuser.
It’s unclear whether Eckhart’s attorney will remedy the alleged inaccuracies exposed by Doe 1, but if left unchecked, all known errors could be a problem.
In New York, according to the ethics guidelines of the American Bar Association, NYU law professor Stephen Gillers explained, “A lawyer cannot ‘knowingly’ make a false statement in court or present someone’s false statement. else. This is true whether the lawyer speaks or submits a document. But the critical word is “knowingly”. A lawyer can submit or make a statement that he believes but does not know to be false. A lawyer can assume that his client’s statement is true until he knows whether it is false. If a lawyer has personally made a statement or presented a statement from a client or other person and later learns that the statement is false, he or she must remedy the falsity even if it involves the disclosure of a confidential information of a customer. This usually means disclosing the falsity of the statement to the judge. “
The professor continued: “The obligation of reparation arises only if the lawyer actually knows that the information given to the court is false. “Alerted” is not the test. Someone can tell the lawyer that the information is false, but it is not sufficient unless the facts in the alert are such that the lawyer actually knows that the information is false. A lawyer can be “alerted” but have reason to doubt the alert. If the details given to the lawyer are strong enough, it can constitute real knowledge that the lawyer cannot ignore. Knowledge is the test. The rules state that the knowledge or not of a lawyer can be “inferred from the circumstances”. A lawyer cannot turn a blind eye to the obvious.
But if Doe 1 claims that the lawsuit misrepresented her relationship with Henry as non-consensual, that does not and should not discredit Eckhart’s rape allegations, said survivor’s lawyer Kimberly Corban.
“Sexual assault is a crime that depends on a victim’s lack of consent. If a person cannot or will not say “ yes ” freely and with enthusiasm to the other party, then the consent is not present … If a person steals a car, we do not say: “ Well, they’ve rented other cars before, so they obviously didn’t steal this one. It’s also basic, ”Corban explained. “When a rape occurs, it does not mean that the accused could not have had consensual sex with other consensual parties, it means that he sexually assaulted the person who did not give his consent.”
Doe 1 agreed.
“I believe one hundred percent [Eckhart’s] claim and don’t think she is falsifying any of her statements, ”she said. “I am on his side and on the side of the other victims. I support her on her journey.
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