In the days after The National Enquirer broke the story of Fox News' Charles Payne's affair with former Fox guest Scottie Nell Hughes and his subsequent suspension, sexually charged emails have shed a negative light on the troubled network's latest scandal.
Hughes alleges that the Making Money host sexually harassed her and threatened her position on his show and other network programs unless she complied with an affair — a claim Payne has denied.
And while doubt may have been cast on her claims as a result of alleged X-rated emails to 56-year-old Payne, Radar has exclusively obtained one email correspondence that could turn the conservative news scandal upside down.
In an email dated June 22, 2015, Payne allegedly sent a message to Hughes containing three scantily clad images of a blonde model — nearly identical to the 37-year-old — wearing a skimpy string bikini with a confederate flag pattern.
The Confederate flag has long been considered a symbol of hate and racial injustice.
Payne, who's African-American, wrote only in the subject line "admittedly I have no problem with this."
Hughes replied within minutes: "That's funny because I do... For numerous reasons."
Among those reasons, "It's racist and it's disgusting," a source close to Fox told Radar. "This is just the tip of the iceberg."
"An innocent journalist doesn't attack a victim in the press. Scottie is begging to tell the whole truth, but she won't go against her lawyer's advice," a friend of Hughes added.
A rep for Hughes had no comment. Payne did not respond to Radar's calls for comments.
Fox's downfall began when its founder Roger Ailes, who died May 18, faced a multitude of accusations from women claiming he sexually harassed them. A lawsuit filed by Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson claimed the 77-year-old demeaned her and harassed her sexually. Once the suit was settled out of court, a flurry of new allegations led to his resignation.
Then came Bill O'Reilly, who was ousted from Fox in April after it was revealed the network shelled out nearly $13 million in hush money to women who accused him of sexual harassment.
Even lawyer and blogger Debbie Schlussel accused Fox's best known anchor Sean Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room after an appearance on his show in Detroit. And when she declined, she alleges he blacklisted her from his show — accusations he has completely denied.
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