Former Fox News anchor Ed Henry, who was fired by the network in 2020 amid sexual misconduct allegations, has dropped his defamation lawsuit against NPR and CNN.
Henry initially alleged last year that journalists at the two outlets—which induced NPR media reporter David Folkenflik, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter and anchor Alisyn Camerota—had “longstanding grudges against Fox News and/or individuals associated with the company” that guided their reporting on his firing.
Specifically, the suit mentioned Folkenflik’s July 2020 report that top Fox executives were warned in 2017 about promoting Henry years before his firing, a story that Stelter and Camerota discussed on-air. Henry argued the NPR story was defamatory because it suggested he “had a history of sexual misconduct at Fox News,” which he claimed was false.
Last week, as revealed by Folkenflik on Wednesday, Henry’s lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning the ex-Fox star can’t refile the case against the parties involved.
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“NPR gives me the support & freedom to report independently, even when it’s uncomfortable,” Folkenflik tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “My thanks to NPR’s leaders, corporate board & attys, for unwavering backing in this case and in an earlier case involving another former Fox figure who sued me – equally unsuccessfully.” Additionally, he noted that NPR has “not stepped away from a syllable” of its report and “the story stands.”
In a separate comment to The Daily Beast, Folkenflik stated that in the “current climate, many lawsuits against journalists and news organizations are driven more by public relations strategy than a strong legal basis.” He also expressed appreciation for his outlet sticking by him and his reporting.
“In this case, NPR and I felt confident that we would prevail in court on the merits. Just as important, we stuck to our guns because our reporting was sound and relevant,” the NPR reporter added. “I admire NPR’s unflagging commitment to providing its audiences with such coverage – and appreciative of the hard work people do behind the scenes to protect the space to do it.”
Henry, who now works for fringe channel Real America’s Voice, still faces a lawsuit from former Fox Business staffer Jennifer Eckhart, who accused Henry of rape and retaliation. A judge ruled last September that Eckhart’s case can move forward.
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