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New developments cast doubt on Cathy Areu's harassment lawsuit against Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity
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New developments cast serious doubt on Cathy Areu's harassment lawsuit against Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity

The allegations don't seem to match up

Major holes appear to be forming former Fox News guest Cathy Areu's lawsuit against Fox News and some of its prominent hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

Fox News has vehemently denied Areu's allegations.

What's a brief history?

Areu, 49, filed the lawsuit on Monday, insisting that several current and former Fox personalities acted with varying degrees of sexually inappropriate behavior toward her.

Areu says she was prevented from appearing on Fox News after she rebuffed several advances from the likes of Carlson, Hannity, and more.

Fox News recently told the Washington Examiner that a third-party investigation found that Areu's claims are false.

"Based on the findings of a comprehensive independent investigation conducted by an outside law firm, including interviews with numerous eyewitnesses, we have determined that all of Cathy Areu's claims against FOX News, including its management as well as its hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity & Howard Kurtz and its contributor Gianno Caldwell, are false, patently frivolous, and utterly devoid of any merit," the statement said.

What's happening now?

Emails obtained by Mediaite seem to showcase "inconsistencies" in Areu's claims against the network and some of its personalities.

The emails, which reportedly took place between Areu and some of the network's employees, call her allegations into question, according to reporting.

"Even more significantly," Mediaite's Rudy Takala wrote, "eyewitness accounts indicate Carlson's wife was with him on a key evening when Areu said Carson promised her he would be alone."

Mediaite reports that Areu appeared on Hannity's show, and at one point in front of employees, the host "threw $100 on the set desk."

"[Hannity] then began calling out to the men in the room and demanding that someone take Ms. Areu out on a date for drinks at Del Friscos," the outlet reported of Areu's allegations. "He repeatedly yelled 'Who wants to take her on a date?'"

Areu, who claimed to be terribly embarrassed by the entire ordeal, said that she began "quietly pleading with one of her friends in the room to accept the money so that the humiliation would end."

According to Areu, "none of the staff cooperated with Mr. Hannity."

Fox News insists, however, that Hannity offered Areu and her friend $100 "to get drinks next door at Del Friscos after the appearance" on the show.

Emails provided by the network appear to show that the unnamed friend "actually came to the set that evening at Areu's invitation."

Areu reportedly had sent an email to a Fox staffer earlier that day, requesting security access for her guest, "Alex."

"He's my good luck charm," she reportedly wrote in the message. "He does yoga. Very calming. I run. I'm nuts."

The staffer reportedly responded, "Haha of course! No problem at all — will add him to the security list."

Areu also reportedly sent further communications to Hannity and his staffers. One read, "Thanks so much for having me on. Way too much fun."

A second purported email, sent the next day, after the appearance, read, "Please thank Sean for a fun evening. He shouldn't have! ... but We did exactly as he and Alex's had bet. Down to the pineapple martini."

'Ms. Areu misrecollected that ... incident'

However, Areu, in her lawsuit, insisted that was the incident that resulted in her being banned from future appearances on Hannity's show.

Mediaite's research shows that Areu "appeared repeatedly on the show following the alleged incident, both with Hannity and with guest hosts." Fox News said that Areu appeared post-incident at least five times.

As for her alleged encounters with Carlson, Areu says that Carlson harassed her during her "final 2018 appearance" on his show.

"Following the show, Mr. Carlson changed on set into his leather jacket for the annual Christmas party that he told Ms. Areu he would only be attending for 10 minutes," Areu's suit explained.

Areu's allegations, however, don't match reports that Areu's final 2018 appearance on Carlson's show took place on Nov. 30 of that year. The company's annual Christmas party, according to the report, "took place on December 10."

"Areu did not appear on the December 10 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight," Takala writes. "Additionally, she appeared on a December 28 edition of the program, guest-hosted that night by Mark Steyn."

Areu's attorney told the outlet that "his client had no recollection" of the Dec. 28 appearance, and reasoned that Areu must have confused the holiday party with another "smaller holiday event" held for Carlson's staff.

“The incident with Tucker Carlson actually occurred on Nov. 30, not Dec. 10," Areu's attorney told the outlet in a statement on the apparent inconsistencies. “Ms. Areu misrecollected that the incident occurred in December because it occurred following a winter/Christmas segment. It is entirely possible that she appeared on Dec. 28, although she doesn't have a specific recollection of that and if she did appear, it was not in Mr. Carlson's physical presence."

Despite contradictions, Areu insists that Carlson began telling her "that he would be alone in New York City that night," and "specifically said that he would be staying alone in his hotel room without any wife or kids" during the alleged incident.

Carlson's wife, however, did attend the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Christmas party, a source told the outlet, and did stay with him in a hotel that evening.

'There is zero evidence of retaliation'

In her suit, Areu alleges that when she rejected Carlson's advances, he retaliated by refusing to book her on his show.

Fox News told the outlet, however, that Areu appeared on Carlson's show at least four times in the four months following the alleged incident.

"There is zero evidence of retaliation," a spokesperson for the network told Takala."

You can read more from the lengthy investigative report here.

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