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Friday, July 7, 2017

Didn't see this one coming

REVEALED: Married political analyst Scottie Nell Hughes plans to sue suspended Fox Business host Charles Payne for sexual harassment after he 'coerced her into a three-year affair'

He 'coerced her into a three-year affair'? 
Good luck at making sexual harassment charges stick.


  • Payne, who hosts Making Money, was accused of sexual misconduct by Hughes
  • Hughes alleges Payne coerced her into a relationship with threats of reprisals
  • They reportedly had a three-year affair after which she was dropped by Fox
  • Hughes says Fox had it in for her because she reported affair to their lawyers
  • But sources say Payne's wife saw them flirting at his birthday and told Bill Shine
  • Shine, then head of programming, dropped the Trump supporter, sources said 
  • Married dad Payne apologized for affair with Hughes, also married, Wednesday
  • But his lawyer says he 'categorically denies' any acts of sexual harassment 

The analyst whose accusations of sexual harassment have led to Fox Business Network's Charles Payne being suspended has been identified as Scottie Neil Hughes.

It emerged Thursday that Payne, who hosts Making Money, had been accused of having a three-year affair with a married political analyst who had worked for CNN.

That woman was Hughes and their relationship was well-known within Fox News circles, ten sources told the Huffington Post.

Making Money host Charles Payne (top) has been suspended after an allegation of sexual harassment made by married analyst Scottie Neil Hughes (bottom), who had an affair with him

The Fox Business host (pictured with his wife) a married father, as admitted to the affair, but denies claims that he coerced Hughes into the relationship with threats of reprisals

Hughes is best known for her pro-Trump appearances on CNN during last year, when she made a string of gaffes, including referring to Molotov cocktails as 'Mazel Tov cocktails'.

But she also worked as an unpaid guest commentator on Fox from 2013-2016 - during which time she struck up an affair with the married father, according to the Los Angeles Times.

They barely hid their illicit encounters, apparently sharing a hotel room at a May 2015 company trip to the Money Show in Las Vegas, sources told The Huffington Post. 

Payne, who was hosting Making Money With Charles Payne at the event, disappeared with Hughes for 'hours' at one point, the sources claimed.

And Hughes, who is also married, attended Payne's birthday party at his home in 2015, where the pair's behavior reportedly made Payne's wife uncomfortable.

Hughes now claims that she was coerced into the relationship with threats of reprisals.

Hughes (not pictured) reportedly also say she hoped her relationship with Payne (center) would get her a permanent place on Fox. Instead she was fired after Payne's wife saw them interacting at his birthday party and told then-Fox exec Bill Shine, sources say

But she also told her lawyer that she had stayed in the relationship because she thought he would help her land a permanent position at the network, sources told the Times.

Hughes tried to talk about the situation with former head of programming Bill Shine, who left Fox News this May - but to no avail, her lawyer says.

She eventually reported the affair to Fox's law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, when it ended in 2015, telling them of the threats she had allegedly received. 

She says that led to her being blackballed from the show.

But according to the Huffintgon Post, the channel stopped bringing her in after Payne's wife - upset by the pair's behavior at his birthday party - told Shine.

He then barred her from appearing on Fox News or Fox Business, multiple insiders said, despite her vehement support for Trump making her an ideal fit for the channels. 

Hughes' lawyer is now preparing a legal complaint against Fox News and Payne.

Payne, a married father, acknowledged to the extramarital affair on Wednesday.

'I would like to extend an apology to my family and friends for having been involved in a romantic affair that ended two years ago,' he said in a statement to the National Enquirer.

However, Payne's s lawyer told the Los Angeles Times that his client 'categorically denies' any acts of sexual harassment against Hughes. 

Hughes claims Fox stopped hiring her not because of Payne's wife's complaints, but because of a vendetta after she reported the affair and alleged harassment to their lawyers

Fox Business recently renewed Payne's contract. 

A spokesman for the channel said that the company takes 'issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct.'

He added: 'This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.' 

As well as departing Fox, Hughes was dropped from CNN in part due to her on-air slips. 

She is now national spokesman for the pro-Trump PAC The Committee To Defend The President.

The accusations are the latest in a series of allegations of sexual misconduct at Fox.

Popular right-wing host Billy O'Reilly found out he was fired from the network in April, while on vacation in Italy, after an African-American woman accused him of sexual harassment.

She said he would call her 'hot chocolate' when he walked by during the day, and would grunt at her 'like a wild boar'.

O'Reilly denies all the claims against him. 

Ex-Fox News Latino Vice President Francisco Cortes and 21st Century Fox settled sexual assault allegations against him by political commentator, Tamara Holder.

But the biggest departure came last year when former boss Roger Ailes was forced to resign amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations. 

He left Fox with a $60 million payout.


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