Conservative media pundit Scottie Nell Hughes on Monday filed a complaint against former Fox colleague Charles Payne, alleging sexual harassment and rape, as well as suing the cable network for retaliation.
"My complaint speaks for itself," Hughes, who first appeared on Fox with Payne in 2013, said in a statement. "What is most important to me is that justice will prevent other women from going through the nightmare I'm now living."
The complaint -- filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York -- alleges Fox executives leaked Hughes' name to the media after she told them in June she had been raped and sexually assaulted by Payne in 2013. The court documents also allege Fox released a statement by Payne in which he apologizes for an "affair" between himself and Hughes before her accusations became public.
Payne was suspended from Fox Business in July, but returned from suspension on Sept. 8.
Payne's legal representative, Jonathan Halpern, said his client vehemently denied Hughes' claims "and will defend himself vigorously against this baseless complaint."
"We are confident that when the evidence is presented in this case, Mr. Payne will be fully vindicated and these outrageous accusations against him will be confirmed as completely false," Halpern said.
A Fox spokeswoman called the suit a "publicity stunt" by Hughes' lawyer, Doug Wigdor, that "has absolutely no merit and is downright shameful."
"We will vigorously defend this," the spokeswoman said. "It's worth noting that Doug is Ms. Hughes' third representative in the last six months to raise some variation of these claims which concern events from four years ago, since it apparently took some time to find someone willing to file this bogus case."
Fox has been plagued by sexual harassment lawsuits since former host Gretchen Carlson filed a complaint in July 2016 against then-Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes. More recently, primetime talent Bill O'Reilly was pushed out of the network after being faced with similar allegations and Eric Bolling has been placed on suspension.