Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has filed a sexual harassment suit against former CEO Roger Ailes and several other executives at the network.
This is the second sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Ailes. Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a similar suit against Ailes in July.
Tantaros minced no words in the suit.
“Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny,” said her lawsuit, filed Monday in New York Supreme Court in New York County.
The lawsuit, whose defendants include Fox News co-president Bill Shine, communications chief Irena Briganti, general counsel Dianne Brandi and Suzanne Scott, executive vice president of programming and development, comes two weeks after Tantaros made her allegations in an article in New York magazine.
Given the number of other women who have come forward since the Carlson suit was filed, Tantaros’s description doesn’t sound far off the mark.
In her lawsuit, Tantaros claims Ailes allegedly asked her for a hug and told her to “turn around so I can get a good look at you.” Ailes also allegedly commented that Tantaros would “look good in a bikini.” Ailes also allegedly asked Tantaros about the sexual relationships of other Fox News employees.
Tantaros, known for her vociferously conservative politics, says she complained “multiple” times to senior Fox executives, including Shine, Scott and Brandi about Ailes’ behavior. In a meeting in spring 2015, Shine allegedly told Tantaros that Ailes was a “very powerful man” and that she “needed to let this one go,” her lawsuit says. Once her complaints were revealed to management, she was taken off the air, Tantaros says.
Ailes isn’t the only target of her wrath:
In the lawsuit, Tantaros also said Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, allegedly sexually harassed her earlier this year by inviting her to “stay with him” on Long Island where it would be ‘very private’ and making sexually suggestive comments.
Tantaros said former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and Fox News correspondent John Roberts allegedly had made sexually inappropriate comments. She claimed Brown allegedly put his hands on her lower waist at lunch.
Brown angrily denied any contact with Tantaros outside the studio, which isn’t exactly a denial. As for the executives and their culpability, unless there’s some kind of paper trail, it will be very hard to prove the executives should have done something about the harassment.
The left has been after Fox for years and it appears they finally have a means to attack them that isn’t directly connected to politics. Accuse Fox of bias and America yawns. Accuse them of serially harassing women and millions of women lose respect for the network. Many of them know what it’s like working in an environment where women are constantly disrespected and pressured by managers to have sex. It’s not an illusion and it is not uncommon.
At least 20 0ther women have contacted attorneys representing Gretchen Carlson with their own allegations of harassment by Ailes. Roger is going to be a very busy man for the next few years dealing with these lawsuits.