US

Fox Host Charles Payne Suspended After Sexual Harassment Accusation

Fox Business Network suspended host Charles Payne Thursday night after political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes accused him of sexual harassment.

The “Making Money” host has been suspended pending further investigation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct,” a Fox representative said. “This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.”

Payne admitted to having an affair from 2013 to 2016 with Hughes, a former CNN employee who was often a guest on Fox News. Hughes is married. He made a statement to the National Enquirer Wednesday, apologizing to his family and friends.

The sexual harassment allegations came after Hughes went to Fox News’ law firm and accused Payne of misconduct, saying that he snubbed her after she tried to end the affair in 2015. She told her lawyer that she continued the affair “because she believed he would help her chances of landing a position at the network,” according to LA Times’ sources. She alleges that Payne threatened unfavorable consequences if she did not acquiesce.

Now Hughes is targeting Payne, arguing that her appearances on the network declined remarkably after she ended their relationship.

Payne’s attorney, Neal Pavel, said that Payne “categorically denies” committing any kind of sexual harassment.

These accusations of sexual harassment follow similar allegations against Fox News’ founder Roger Ailes and evening talk show host Bill O’Reilly.

Editor’s note: The story has been corrected to note that Payne is suspended pending an investigation, not indefinitely.

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