Fox News contributor accuses network host of rape in latest sexual misconduct allegations

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Fox News has been rocked by another sexual misconduct allegation. Conservative political commentator and a once-frequent face on the Fox News Channel, Scottie Nell Hughes, has sued the network, alleging she was raped by Fox News personality and host of "Making Money" Charles Payne.

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Hughes filed a lawsuit against the network Monday, also contending she was blacklisted after making the allegations several years ago, according to The New York Times.

Fox suspended Payne in July while the network investigated Hughes' initial claims. He later returned after Fox News completed its internal investigation.

Hughes told the Times what happened and why she filed suit.

"In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne," she said. "In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell."

caption arrowCaption
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: (L-R) Actor Robert Davi, Scottie Nell Hughes and Clay Aiken speak during their appearance at Politicon 2017 at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

Credit: Michael Schwartz

PASADENA, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Actor Robert Davi, Scottie Nell Hughes and Clay Aiken speak during their appearance at Politicon 2017 at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

Credit: Michael Schwartz

caption arrowCaption
PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: (L-R) Actor Robert Davi, Scottie Nell Hughes and Clay Aiken speak during their appearance at Politicon 2017 at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

Credit: Michael Schwartz

Credit: Michael Schwartz

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Hughes contends she participated in a coerced sexual relationship with Payne in exchange for an increase in paid television appearances. Later, she said, she was blacklisted from other jobs and was told it was because of an “affair” she had had “with someone at Fox.”

Hughes' filed suit against 21st Century Fox, Fox News Channel and Charles Payne.

Payne denied the allegations again on Monday.

Fox issued a statement calling the lawsuit the “latest publicity stunt” by Hughes’ lawyer. The network also said the suit is “shameful” and has “absolutely no merit.”

Explore>> Related: Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sues Roger Ailes for sexual harassment

A number of former female Fox News employees have come forward over the past several years and accused network executives and anchors of sexual harassment. The network has settled out of court in several cases.

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