Fox News blasts former host who filed sexual harassment lawsuit
Fox News yesterday fired back at suspended host Andrea Tantaros, who accused her boss and several co-workers, including former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, of sexual harassment, calling her lawsuit “baseless” and Tantaros an “opportunist,” a “wannabe” and a liar.
“Tantaros is not a victim, she is an opportunist,” the network said in a motion filed in answer to her lawsuit. “The complaint’s allegations of sexual harassment by each of several men are false. Fox News has already investigated all of these accusations and found no evidence to support them.”
Fox’s filing contends that the former “Outnumbered” host filed her lawsuit as a “smokescreen” after she was suspended for writing a book without getting prior permission from the network, a violation of her employment contract.
“Specifically, Tantaros had written a book called “Tied Up in Knots… How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable,” in which she appears on the cover in a submissive and sexualized position with her arms tied over her head,” the filing states.
The network added that Tantaros only complained about ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes after another former host, Gretchen Carlson, filed a sex harassment suit against him that ultimately forced Ailes’ resignation.
“Tantaros’s unverified complaint of August 22 to this court 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.”
Tantaros filed suit against the network, Ailes and other execs last week, claiming that she was sexually harassed by Ailes, Brown, network bigfoot Bill O’Reilly, on-air guests Dean Cain and Ben Collins, and colleague John Roberts.
“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,” her lawsuit states.
Specifically, Tantaros claimed Brown made sexually inappropriate comments on the set of “Outnumbered,” telling her “in a suggestive manner,” that she “would be fun to go to a nightclub with.” Later, she said, Brown snuck up behind her in line at the company cafeteria and put his hands on her waist.
Brown has denied the allegations and Fox’s filing says the charges were investigated and “his interactions with Tantaros were professional and cordial, and in full view of other personnel and talent.”
“Tantaros’s entirely gratuitous attacks on her former colleagues reveals more about her than about them,” the filing continues.
The network wants the court to order Tantaros to take her complaints to arbitration, which, it says, is required by her employment contract.
“The fact that arbitration may not present the opportunities for public vilification that she and her counsel seem to favor does not excuse ignoring the express terms of her Employment Agreement,” the network argues.
Tantaros’ attorney fired back, saying that if network execs are innocent, “why do they want this dispute to be resolved in the shadows? An innocent person would be so outraged that he or she would want public vindication.”
He further challenged the defendants to take a lie detector test, saying their refusal is an indication “they know that they would fail.”
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