Tyrus, a Fox News contributor and a host on the network’s subscription streaming service, Fox Nation, sent lewd and inappropriate text messages to his now-former Fox Nation co-host, Britt McHenry, according to four sources familiar with the texts’ contents.
The messages, which have not previously been reported, include texts in which Tyrus said to McHenry: “Just pull your boobs out now why don’t you. Just grin and bare it” and “keep being negative and I’ll send you another dick pic.”
In June, The Daily Beast reported that Tyrus was pulled off the show he co-hosted with McHenry, after McHenry complained to the network about him.
In a second story, The Daily Beast reported that McHenry’s complaint included a claim of sexual harassment against Tyrus.
Between November 2018 and January 2019, Tyrus sent texts like this one to McHenry: “I love the fact your always working if we ever had sex I feel like after an orgazzum you say speaking of feeling good did see the story on the puppy rescue we should do a segment on it hand me my phone.”
In response to this text message, McHenry replied “Hahahaha.” (Women who deal with harassment in any form often employ humor as a way to change the subject.)
“Just pull your boobs out now why don’t you.”
In response to other inappropriate text messages, McHenry shifted the conversation to other topics.
McHenry shared the contents of the messages with multiple friends months ago. She told them she was upset by the messages and wanted advice on how she should handle the situation. Some of McHenry’s friends spoke to HuffPost on the condition they not be identified, as McHenry had not authorized them to speak to a reporter.
When the matter first surfaced, Fox News said in a statement, “While we are not at liberty to discuss the details of any employee matter, we follow strict protocols when matters such as these are brought to our attention, and we make no exceptions. The process works because of the extensive systems and measures we have instituted. This situation was independently investigated and we consider the matter resolved. We respect the confidentiality of all involved.”
But despite proclaiming the matter was resolved, the messages reveal unquestionable examples of inappropriate workplace behavior.
A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment for this article. Tyrus did not immediately respond to a direct message on Twitter.
Tyrus is a former WWE wrestler and joined Fox News formally as a contributor in 2016. He is a regular guest on “The Greg Gutfeld Show,” which airs on Saturdays on the Fox News channel. He also regularly appears on Dana Perino’s daily program, “The Daily Briefing.”
After graduating from journalism school, McHenry was a sports reporter at local network affiliates. She joined ESPN in 2014 as a sports reporter. In 2017, ESPN laid her off along with 100 other employees, and she joined Fox News as a contributor in July 2018.
In October 2018, Fox News announced that McHenry and Tyrus would host the show “UN-PC” on Fox Nation, the network’s digital streaming channel. The first episode premiered in November 2018.
In April, Fox Nation split the hosts up. Tyrus received his own show, “NuffSaid,” and McHenry continued to host “UN-PC” with a substitute host, Tom Shillue. The network has promoted Tyrus’ show on Fox Nation’s official Instagram account three times in the past month. But Fox Nation has only promoted McHenry and “UN-PC” on its Instagram account once in the past month.
A source familiar with internal workings told HuffPost that McHenry “does not have a permanent co-host for UN-PC at this time, so the team that runs the Instagram account is likely waiting until the show’s co-host is finalized before they push the show even more on social media. Tyrus has a brand new show with new assets.”
Since Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch pushed out Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes almost three years ago, the organization has undergone a shift in how it deals with human resources issues, especially around accusations of sexual misconduct.
The HR director for Fox News now reports to the parent company, Fox Corporation (previously 21st Century Fox). When a Fox News employee is accused of misconduct, they are normally suspended pending investigation. An outside law firm typically conducts such investigations.
“But according to multiple sources, Tyrus was not suspended while his conduct was investigated, something that confounded sources inside Fox News.”
But according to multiple sources, Tyrus was not suspended while his conduct was investigated, something that confounded sources inside Fox News. A source familiar with internal workings told HuffPost that “suspensions are determined on a case by case basis and we follow the recommendations of outside independent investigators when we use them.”
In a statement sent via email, McHenry’s lawyers said: “Neither we nor Ms. McHenry are commenting at this time other than to say that Ms. McHenry looks forward to continuing to progress in her career at Fox.”
Outside of the statement from her lawyers, McHenry has made no public comment on the matter. But Tyrus did post a screenshot of a Philadelphia Inquirer story with the headline “Fox News: We investigated Britt McHenry’s allegations against Tyrus, and consider the matter closed.”
In the caption of the Instagram post, Tyrus wrote: #nuffsaid
Tyrus deleted his post shortly after it went up.
CLARIFICATION: This article has been updated to describe Fox Nation as a subscription streaming service rather than a digital channel, and to clarify Tyrus’ role at the network.
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