Andrea Tantaros, the former Fox host, is suing Fox for nearly $50 million alleging sexual harassment. Fox News responded in court Monday calling her “an opportunist.”
“She is not a victim; she is an opportunist,” the court filing said.
The Fox filing says Tantaros never made any claim that she had been harassed by former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes during an internal investigation of her complaints of mistreatment by others at the company. The suit, says Fox, is “filled with falsehoods.”
The suit names Ailes along with and several Fox executives, who have denied the allegations.
Fox suspended Tantaros with pay in April, claiming she breached her contract by publishing a book without permission. They also objected to the cover with her arms tied over her head in a submissive, sexualized position.
Tantaros, a former co-host of “Outnumbered” and before that “The Five,” says her suspension was retaliation for her complaints of harassment.
Fox says that the “unverified” suit by Tantaros “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe’: she claims now that she too was victimized by Roger Ailes, when, in fact, contrary to her pleading, she never complained of any such conduct in the course of an investigation months ago.”
There are a lot of holes in her filing according to LawNewz. Fox saying she NEVER complained isn’t something they would lie about — there is no paper trail.
Oddly, Law Newz writes, in March, Tantaros apparently DID complain about four other co-workers in a letter from her attorney. The letter was in response to a dispute over Tantaros’ recent book being published (allegedly) without Fox’s authorization. In the March letter, she apparently named four men specifically who harassed her. Ailes was not on that list.
What’s more, this spring, Fox News conducted an internal investigation regarding her initial complaint, she refused to speak with them at first, but then reportedly agreed. From the Fox News legal brief:
Tantaros did not state before or during the interview that Ailes had sexually harassed her. Because Tantaros had great difficulty describing the alleged sexual harassment by the other four men, she was twice asked: “Can you recall any specific statements of a sexualized nature that anyone said to you?” Both times she replied that she did not recall.
She was already on the outs, LawNewz writes, so why not mention Ailes?
In her lawsuit, Tantaros said that she was never contacted by Paul Weiss investigators who were hired by 21st Century Fox following the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit. However, Fox News says that the private investigators did try to contact Tantaros’ attorney, Joseph C. Cane, but he never called them back. CNN’s Brian Stelter has already exposed some inaccuracies with the original Tantaros complaint. And, if all this is true, it certainly raises more questions about her motivations, Law Newz continued.
In a separate filing, Ailes said Tantaros’ suit smears him, “reverts to tabloid fodder,” is “full of lies and half-truths” and “a desperate attempt to sell books and speeches,” adding that she praised him in her book.
Tantaros’s complaint was lurid, calling Fox News a “Playboy mansion-like cult” filled with “intimidation” and “misogyny.”
Tantaros’s contract requires her to engage in confidential arbitration and they are insisting she be compelled to do that.
In the company’s internal investigation, which included interviews with 13 people, according to the filing, “the four men accused of sexual harassment vehemently denied it.”
NO ONE backed her up.
During the inquiry, Tantaros was twice asked, “Can you recall any specific statements of a sexualized nature that anyone said to you?” Tantaros said she could not recall, according to the Fox response.
Fox wrote that “Tantaros’s entirely gratuitous attacks on her former colleagues reveals more about her than about them.”
She accused correspondent John Roberts, former senator Scott Brown and former Green Beret Ben Collins of abusive conduct which they all deny.
As it concerns Roberts, “Tantaros’s allegation that he asked her an improper question relating to in vitro fertilization is dishonest and takes Roberts’s words entirely out of context (they occurred after several serious discussions with Roberts and his wife about his wife’s forthcoming book on this subject).”
Tantaros’s allegations followed Gretchen Carlson’s accusations of sexual harassment by Roger Ailes who has since retired.
Bill O’Reilly isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit but Tantaros leveled accusations against him as well and he has been taking a lot of vacation time in the past two weeks. He allegedly tried to lure her to his LI home to see if she was a “wild girl.”
Ms. Tantaros said it was a betrayal as he was her mentor.
Feminist site UltraViolet posted a petition which now has 36,000 signatures aimed at getting him fired. They are opportunists and dislike O’Reilly’s views. HuffPo is promoting the petition. Fox did not respond when solicited by HuffPo.
The Sentinel doesn’t know who is right but Tantaros’s case is looking weaker. We will miss Ms. Tantaros from Fox News.
Ms. Tantaros’s accusations against Fox News can be read on the link.