Cathy Areu, the Liberal Sherpa, is charged with kidnapping and stealing from her own mom
The self-proclaimed ‘Liberal Sherpa’ who was once a regular guest on Fox News stole at least $224,000 from her 88-year-old mother and physically dragged the elderly woman to a nursing home against her will, Florida authorities said on Friday.
Cathy Areu, 51, faces numerous felony charges including kidnapping, exploitation of the elderly and organized scheme to defraud. She is being held without bond in the Miami-Dade county jail.
Areu previously appeared as an unpaid guest on a number of Fox News shows until 2020, when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit naming hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson — a claim that was later dismissed by a judge.
Miami-Dade County prosecutors say she falsified documents to take control of her mother’s home, siphoned money from her mother’s reverse mortgage and savings account, and took out credit cards in her mother’s name and then used them for her own benefit.
Cathy Areu, 51, is seen following her Friday arrest in Miami on numerous felony charges including kidnapping, exploitation of the elderly and organized scheme to defraud
‘Every incident of alleged elder exploitation or abuse touches our heart and never fails to shock us,’ Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
‘It seems particularly harder to understand when the alleged perpetrator of the exploitation is a daughter, or a son or another blood relative,’ added Rundle.
According to Areu’s Fox News profile, which has since been deleted, she is a former contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, where she conducted political interviews from 2001 to 2012, and in 2001 founded the magazine Catalina.
Areu’s 88-year-old mother is seen above
Her magazine sought to ‘break stereotypes and show a positive side of the US Hispanic community,’ the bio stated.
Areu, also known as Cathy Areu Jones, also hosted the ‘Liberal Sherpa’ podcast. Fox took down Areu’s profile after her arrest became widely known.
In 2018, Areu was a regular unpaid guest on conservative commentator Carlson’s show and appeared on other Fox News shows, where she defended progressive ideals in banter with the hosts and other guests.
In 2020, she sued the network, Carlson, Hannity and others, claiming sexual harassment, but a judge dismissed the suit the following year.
The self-proclaimed ‘Liberal Sherpa’ was once a regular unpaid guest on Fox News.
Details of Areu’s arrest were not released, but prosecutors said she had been evading authorities since June, including spending time in Mexico. She was being held without bond Friday at the county jail.
Court and jail records do not show if she has an attorney to speak on her behalf.
According to prosecutors, the investigation began in 2019 when state officials received reports that Areu was exploiting her mother.
Paperwork had been filed turning over the mother’s house to Areu, but the mother denied the signature was hers.
They say Areu also used a revoked power of attorney to twice place her mother in a nursing home against her will.
Areu is seen on Tucker Carlson’s show in 2018. She did not appear on the network after filing a lawsuit in 2020 claiming sexual harassment, which was later tossed out by a judge
In the first case, they say Areu tricked her mother into believing she was being taken to have ice cream with her granddaughters, but was instead taken to a home.
When the mother tried to call a friend for help, Area allegedly told the staff not to let her use the phone or see visitors.
After doctors and officials found the woman competent to make her own decisions and released her to go home, prosecutors say Areu and another person physically dragged her from her house and took her to another facility.
Again, the woman was released after she was found competent and asked to go home.
Authorities say the investigation continues.