Ed Henry sues a bunch of Twitter accounts — and his legal team can’t keep 2020 and 2021 straight (allegedly)
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Former Fox host Ed Henry filed another defamation lawsuit July 1, 2021, with his attorneys naming over 40 defendants, all but five of whom are identified only by online usernames, most of them Twitter handles.
“… taking on cesspool of social media,” Henry proclaimed in a tweet with a link to a PDF of the suit.
The paperwork, which is signed by attorney Ty Clevenger, includes five individuals and organizations specifically and includes their place of residence or operation.
Henry himself tweeted a link to a digital version of the lawsuit, which was used to prepare this report.
One person is named by both a name and Twitter handle and some have cities of residents listed, but the most of the rest are only identified by usernames with the phrase “for a real person whose address is unknown” next to each one.
It’s not uncommon for lawsuits, particularly in the early phase, to not have full information about defendants. Some of that information can be uncovered later in the process, often using court orders or other actions to obtain more detailed information.
One of the defendants named includes @BadFoxGraphics, a popular account that typically posts screen captures of ironic banners the network runs.
Henry’s lawsuit includes screen captures of the tweets his attorneys allege were defamatory, but in at least four locations throughout the paperwork, someone on his legal team seems to have apparently fallen victim to a sort of reverse version of the “I can’t stop writing last year’s year on my checks” error.
Three statements in the lawsuit refer to tweets “sent” July 20, 2021 (even though the screenshots show July 20, 2020). Obviously, as of the filing date of July 1, 2021, July 20, 2021 had not occurred yet. A fourth error proclaims a tweet was sent October 20, 2021, which is several months in the future of the filing date.
Many of the tweets references in the legal paperwork include tweets where the account posted information directly labeled Henry as a “sexual predator” or “rapist” (he has not been found guilty or charged with any crime connected to those areas of the law). Some posts include links to news articles that went into more detail.
Notably excluded from the lawsuit are any tweets that use the word “alleged” or “accused” in front of the term “sexual predator” or “rapist.” Nor do any of these claims include a source, named or unnamed, such as a member of law enforcement or part of the investigation team, that a claim can be attributed to.
It’s not possible to discern if Henry’s lawyers would have taken less offense to those types of phrasing, but there are hundreds of news articles that have been published with similar language that, at least so far, have been named in other defamation lawsuits.
In fact, in journalism circles, a common inside joke is how often words such as “allegedly” or “according to a source” have to be used to help prevent at least some potential legal issues.
He also alleged that some of the defendants engaged in a “smear campaign” against him that has tarnished his reputation.
Henry was suspended from Fox in 2020 after allegations of sexual misconduct were reported. After an investigation, he was fired, having only recently taken over as co-host of “America’s Newsroom” following a post election host shuffle at the network.
Two of his alleged victims have lawsuits pending against the network for reportedly ignoring their reports and even promoting Henry, who had previously been a weekend host of “Fox & Friends.”
Henry has denied any wrongdoing and has a separate lawsuit pending against Fox and its management for the firing and alleged defamation.