Fox Business Network announced on Thursday that it suspended “Making Money” host Charles Payne after one of the network’s frequent on-air guests claimed Payne coerced her into an extramarital affair.
Payne admitted to the affair on Wednesday, but denied any aspect of sexual harassment in what he described as a “romantic relationship.” Last month, the woman notified Fox’s attorneys of the alleged harassment and remained anonymous because Payne allegedly threatened her with “reprisals” in order to coerce her into a sexual relationship, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Payne’s accuser, who appeared on multiple Fox News and Fox Business programs, said she refrained from reporting on the alleged harassment because she thought Payne would help her career. When she ended the relationship, she said, she got much fewer appearances on the network.
Payne’s suspension comes at a difficult time for the network, as it recently saw a string of employees leave due to sexual harassment allegations. Just days before Fox announced Payne’s suspension, Fox Sports announced it had fired one of its executives amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
A spokesperson for Fox Business said, in a statement:
We take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero tolerance policy for any professional misconduct. This matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.
Both network star Bill O’Reilly and CEO Roger Ailes left amid similar allegations as well.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.