Fox News Says Britt McHenry Engaged In ‘Long-Running Pattern of Deception’

Written by Carmine Sabia

OPINION
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


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Fox News is embroiled in yet another sex scandal and has been with one of its current Fox Nation hosts, Britt McHenry.

Now Fox News is hitting back at Henry in her lawsuit in which she claims she was sexually harassed by fellow Fox Nation commentator George Murdoch, who goes by his professional wrestling name, Tyrus, Law & Crime reported.

Lawyers defending Fox News in a sexual harassment case filed by Fox Nation commentator Britt McHenry on Friday asked a federal judge to order McHenry to “submit her electronic devices for a neutral forensic examination to determine whether she lost or destroyed text messages critical to her claims.”

The four-page letter to Judge Paul A. Engelmayer follows previous assertions by Fox News that McHenry “lost” the very phone she claims to have used while receiving sexually explicit text messages from co-host George Murdoch (a.k.a. the wrestler “Tyrus”). McHenry is suing the network and several of its executives on allegations that the company retaliated against her when she complained about her communications with Tyrus.

Fox News says the communications McHenry has thus far turned over prove little more than “a consensual exchange of lewd banter, as found by independent investigators.”

“Plaintiff has never produced the actual texts” that he case is based on, Fox News’ letter to the judge said. “Instead, she has produced only a ‘log’ of the texts, which are incomplete and cannot be independently verified.”

“Now we know why,” it said. “[A]fter more than a year of litigation, Plaintiff claimed for the first time on January 4 of this year that she ‘lost’ her phone on a trip in July 2019 — six months before she filed this lawsuit. Her repeated offers to allow a forensic examination of her phone were thus based on a long-running pattern of deception involving several misrepresentations to Fox News and this Court. Accordingly, the only way to determine whether relevant texts were lost or deleted is to conduct a full forensic examination of all of Plaintiff’s remaining devices, which may contain backups of the phone that she claims to have lost.”

The network says that its own investigation “discovered what appeared to be additional text messages from her to Tyrus that were not in the ‘log’ [McHenry] created.” The network also said it discovered additional phone calls from McHenry to Tyrus that McHenry did not include.

McHenry hired Lisa Bloom, a well known attorney for women who claim to be harassed, after her July 2019 trip to Portugal where she now says that she lost the phone. In October 2019, the host  “made her first offer to conduct a forensic examination of her cell phone, without even hinting that it had been ‘lost,’” the letter said.

“Over the next year, Plaintiff continued the charade of offering to submit her cell phone for forensic examination, never mentioning that it had been lost. When she filed her Complaint and Amended Complaint, she disingenuously bragged that she had “immediately offered to have a forensic expert examine her cell phone” to confirm her side of the story. At the initial conference in September 2020, Tyrus’ counsel stated her understanding that Plaintiff had “retained [her] messages [with Tyrus] and did not change numbers or cell phones,” and Your Honor emphasized the importance of “preserv[ing] and protect[ing]” those messages. In response, Plaintiff’s counsel gave no indication that the cell phone had been lost. Finally, in responding to Fox News’ request that she conduct a forensic examination of her cell phone in November 2020, she still failed to mention that she had lost the phone,” it said.

“Even after finally revealing the phone was lost, Plaintiff continued to obfuscate information about the loss, repeatedly changed her explanations of where the information from the phone may have been backed up, and made but then revoked various offers to conduct forensic examinations. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff’s counsel stated that they believed all messages with Tyrus had been backed up on Plaintiff’s laptop, and agreed to submit the laptop for examination. However, Plaintiff refused to search for any messages about Tyrus that she had with third parties, even after Fox News explained the importance of those messages. On January 19, Plaintiff attempted to revoke her offer to conduct the forensic examination. On January 27, she revealed that she had discovered an old phone (which she called “Phone 2”) that contains a backup, allegedly created in April 2019, of messages between Plaintiff and Tyrus between late August 2018 and early April 2019. Plaintiff then offered to produce Phone 2 for a forensic examination and withdrew her offer to submit her laptop for examination,” the letter said.

“Just two days later, on January 29, 2021, Plaintiff posted a video on Instagram in which she stated, contrary to her counsel’s offer, that she was “more than willing” to submit all of her devices for forensic examination. On February 9, 2021, her counsel finally agreed to do so. Plaintiff still maintained, however, that she would not allow her phone to be searched for any communications with third parties even if they were relevant. She also said that her offer was contingent on Fox News agreeing never to raise the issue of her lost phone with the Court. If Fox News refused to accept these terms, she would not agree to any examination,” it said.

Fox News went on to say that “Only a forensic examination will reveal what Fox News strongly suspects: Plaintiff intentionally deleted highly relevant messages between her and Tyrus and/or third parties that would definitively prove that their relationship was consensual and not harassing.”

Managing Attorney Arick Fudali, who works for Lisa Bloom’s law firm, hit back at Fox News’ claims.

“Ms. McHenry has offered her devices to be forensically examined because she has nothing to hide,” he said.

In January Bloom gave a similar response to Law & Crime.

“Britt has already provided all of the relevant text messages, which she downloaded before she lost her phone, to the investigators and in discovery,” she said. “We have also offered a forensic examination of her laptop and cloud to obtain any and all messages between her and [Tyrus]. She has nothing to hide.”