In what has developed into a disturbing pattern, another Fox employee has been accused of sexual harassment.
Charles Payne, host of Fox Business Networks’ “Making Money,” was suspended for allegations against him. Fox Business confirmed the news Thursday night, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct,” a spokesperson for Fox Business reported to media outlets. “This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.”
In an interview with the National Enquirer on Wednesday Payne acknowledged and apologized for having an extramarital affair with a woman who formerly worked at CNN and appeared as a frequent guest on Fox Business Network. Payne called the affair a “romantic relationship.”
However, the woman, identified by the Huffington Post as Scottie Nell Hughes, claims she was shunned from Fox after ending the affair. She allegedly tried to report Payne to Bill Shine, former co-president of Fox News, but was unsuccessful.
For his part, several of the network’s current sexual misconduct and racial discrimination scandals name Shine for allegedly covering up the wrongdoing of alleged harassers, including former chairman Roger E. Ailes.
Payne’s contract with Fox was just recently renewed. Payne has been with Fox Business since 2006.
Payne’s lawyer, Neal Korval, told the LA Times that Payne “categorically denies” committing sexual harassment.
But allegations against members of the Fox team have continued mounting, most recently with the firing of Fox Sports’ president of sports programming, Jamie Horowitz, on Monday.
An anonymous woman who worked at Fox Sports told Sports Illustrated that she spoke with human resource officials and recalled her own encounter with Horowitz, who reportedly tried to kiss her.
Accusations of sexual harassment against formerchairman Roger Ailes, who passed away earlier this year, and former top personality Bill O’Reilly have also come out over the last year.
But for Fox, payouts appear to be just the cost of doing business.
Last year,Fox News agreed to pay $20 million alone to settle a harassment suit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson on behalf of Ailes, who denied any wrongdoing but resigned in July. Withregard toallegationsagainst O’Reilly, five women received settlements in exchange for not suing the company.