Former Host Andrea Tantaros Hopes to Bring ‘Accountability’ to Fox News
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros hopes to bring “accountability” to the network that is at the center of allegations of sexual misconduct, she said Tuesday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“Fox News has plenty of money, they’ve bought off a lot of women. What they don’t have is accountability,” Tantaros alleged Tuesday morning in the exclusive appearance to explain her speaking out.
Her comments and television appearance are likely to bring renewed scrutiny to the accusations, which Fox News and its deposed chief, Roger Ailes, had hoped to put behind them.
Both parties have denied wrongdoing.
In August, Tantaros joined other female Fox News personalities to allege abusive behavior at the company when she filed a lawsuit claiming that the network “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”
In court filings responding to the suit, Fox News said Tantaros “is not a victim; she is an opportunist” and that her “unverified” lawsuit “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe.’”
Tantaros told GMA Tuesday that “Ailes sexually harassed me numerous times. I was walking to a taping once and just said simply hello to him, and he said, ‘We need to get you a tighter dress.’”
Tantaros Tuesday reiterated a claim made in her lawsuit that Fox News used the publication of her book to attempt to silence her.
In her lawsuit, she alleged that she was taken off the air this spring, “based upon the outrageously false and pretextual claim that Tantaros’s still unpublished book had been written in violation of Fox News’s rules for books authored by Fox News employees.”
At the time, a Fox News representative said: “Issues have arisen regarding Andrea’s contract, and Fox News Channel has determined it best that she take some time off. She is still under contract with the network.”
Asked Tuesday morning why she thanked Ailes, who was head of the network at the time, in the book, Tantaros said, “You had to thank Roger Ailes or your book didn’t get published.”
“You’ll notice, it’s the most carefully crafted non-thank you,” she said. “You had to do that … to get your book published.”
Tantaros also said that settling the lawsuit would require her to, among other things, renounce her sexual harassment complaints and pledge silence. She said she was not comfortable agreeing to those conditions.
Late last month, Tantaros’ therapist came out in defense of her former patient, vouching that Tantaros had talked about the alleged misconduct during sessions in 2014 and 2015.
Fox News has stood by its call to move the dispute out of court and into private arbitration.
In the past, Ailes, the legendary news executive who created Fox News in the 1990s and left the network on July 21, has denied allegations of sexual misconduct brought by Tantaros and others.
An email sent to Ailes’ lawyer, Susan Estrich, offering the chance to respond to Tantaros’ comments on Good Morning America was not immediately returned.
In making her allegations in August, Tantaros joined a handful of female former Fox News hosts who alleged sexually explicit and abusive behavior at the network. The most prominent other host making similar allegations was Gretchen Carlson, whose lawsuit was filed in July, shortly after Carlson left the network after 11 years.
Carlson alleged that Ailes had “sabotaged” her career after she “refused his sexual advances,” and that her job was terminated in retaliation for rebuffing him and complaining to him about sexual harassment.
Fox News and Ailes have denied Carlson’s allegations in the past, calling it a “retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract” because of “disappointingly low ratings.”
In early September, Fox News and Carlson settled their dispute. A source familiar with the deal told ABC News that the settlement was valued at $20 million.
Shortly before Ailes’ resignation on July 21, New York magazine published a story citing unnamed sources who claimed that another Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, had “told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances towards her about  years ago.”
In response to that story, Estrich, Ailes’ lawyer, told ABC News that Ailes “never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.