Fox Business’ Charles Payne To Return Two Months After Harassment Probe

Fox Business Channel "Money for Breakfast" co-host Peter Barnes, left, talks with guest Eric Bolling, second left, and FBN contributor Charles Payne, while co-host Jenna Lee, right, prepares for her newscast on the first day of the new cable business channel, in New York Monday Oct. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
RICHARD DREW/AP

Fox Business host Charles Payne will return to the airwaves two months after an investigation began into a sexual harassment allegation made against him, a spokesperson for the network confirmed to TPM on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times, which also first broke the story of Payne’s suspension, first reported news of the host’s return.

The Fox Business spokesperson confirmed the Times’ reporting to TPM. The paper reported that the company’s review of Payne was complete and that he was returning to his job.

The Times reported that the course of events “seems to indicate that he has been cleared,” referring to Payne. However, the Fox spokesperson did not respond to TPM’s request to confirm that point.

In July, news broke that a guest contributor to Fox News and Fox Business made a complaint against Payne to the law firm tasked with conducting an internal investigation into a slew of sexual harassment claims made against Fox News employees, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Prior to Payne’s suspension, he admitted to the National Enquirer that he had a three-year “romantic relationship” with an analyst who appeared as a guest on Fox Business, the Times noted in July.

But Payne denied any allegations of harassment.  “That is an ugly lie I vehemently deny to my core,” he said on Twitter at the time. “There is a mountain of proof that also proves its a lie.”

Sexual harassment allegations have rocked Fox News over the past year, leading to the ousters of the late network chairman Roger Ailes, flagship on-air personality Bill O’Reilly and co-president Bill Shine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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