Fox News Channel on-air personality Andrea Tantaros says she complained loudly and more than once about sexual harassment from then-CEO Roger Ailes — well before former FNC host Gretchen Carlson’s law suit.
New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Monday that lawyer Judd Burstein, a powerhouse New York litigator, said Tantaros reported the incidents in 2015 and faced significant retaliation rather than help from Fox News executives.
Tantaros said Ailes' harassment of her began in August 2014, when, during a meeting in Ailes' office, he asked her to do "the twirl" — stand up and turn around in a 360 to show off her body so he could review her full figure.
She says she declined, but then in December of the same year, again in his office, Ailes asked her to turn around and said, "Come over here so I can give you a hug."
Tantaros again refused, her lawyer said.
Soon after, in February 2015 she was removed as co-host of the 5 p.m. show "The Five" and put on the noon program "Outnumbered," a less-watched daytime show.
That same month, Ailes asked Tantaros, in his office, about her workout regimen, saying her body "looked good" and speculating she must "really look good in a bikini."
Tantaros on April 30, 2015 filed a formal complaint to Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine. Shine met with her the next day, but advised her that "Roger is a very powerful man," so she "should not fight this," Sherman reports.
Tantaros' agent carried the complaint to general counsel Dianne Brandi that August and continued talking to Shine and senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, she says.
In April 2016, she was suspended by the network, reportedly because she had not vetted her book, "Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What They Wanted Has Made Women Miserable."
Fox attorneys said at the time the network was concerned about the image on the cover of Tantaros tied up with ropes.
Tantaros' assertion that she reported Ailes to Fox News brass in 2015 counter the claims by Fox that it was unaware of any such complaints of harassment by Ailes before anchor Gretchen Carlson filed suit for sexual harassment one month ago.
Since then, Paul, Weiss, an independent New York law firm, was brought into probe allegations of harassment at the network.
According to press reports, approximately two dozen women have made claims of inappropriate actions by Ailes and other senior Fox executives. Prime time anchor Megyn Kelly reportedly told the investigation she was harassed by Ailes 10 years ago.
Fox booker Laurie Luhn claimed that for nearly two decades she had been "psychologically tortured" by Ailes.
Luhn alleges that during her employ Ailes required her to have regular sex sessions with him in New York hotel rooms. The sessions required her to get on her knees, engage in oral sex and to perform sadomasochist acts with other women. She said Ailes would frequently photograph their activities.
New York magazine said it reviewed documents showing that in 2011 Fox News paid Luhn a settlement of $3.15 million to keep quiet.
Burstein was hired by Tantaros shortly before her suspension, and he previously represented Fox News employees against the network, including getting a multi-million-dollar severance package in 2013 for Ailes' former communications head Brian Lewis, whom Ailes accused of giving information to Sherman for his biography of the media mogul.
Burstein said Tantaros is breaking her confidentiality agreement by speaking out publicly, but is also aware News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch is interested in getting to the bottom of the allegations against Ailes.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.