|Charles Payne, Scottie Nell Hughes|
Hughes, a conservative political commentator and former CNN contributor during the 2016 presidential campaign, sued Fox News on Sept. 19, 2017. In her suit, Hughes alleges that Payne had raped her in a New York City hotel room in 2013.
She also charges that the network retaliated by blacklisting her from the network after she reported she was attacked.
“In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne,” Hughes told The New York Times in September. “In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell.”According to Hughes's lawsuit, Payne also promised career opportunities in exchange for a sexual relationship with Hughes. Hughes claims the relationship lasted over the two years following the alleged rape.
The Hill reports U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley III Tuersday denied a bid by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News and Fox Business, to stop Hughes's lawsuit from going to court.
Pauley wrote in his opinion that since Hughes was an unpaid guest and not a paid contributor, she "may not be considered under the financial benefit analysis."
Pauley also dismissed Hughes's claims of discrimination and defamation, adding that she failed to allege malice and damages in any tangible way.
The judge also ruled against a violence claim by Hughes against Payne, as well as an allegation that the alleged attack was motivated by gender.
Payne was suspended in July 2017 but returned to hosting his program, "Making Money" on Fox Business, in September following an internal investigation.
The network called the lawsuit a "publicity stunt" last September and "downright shameful."