Tags: andrea tantaros | fox | lawsuit | sock | puppets

Tantaros Adds to Fox Fight With Claim of 'Sockpuppet' Attack

Image: Tantaros Adds to Fox Fight With Claim of 'Sockpuppet' Attack
Former Fox CEO Roger Ailes (AP)

Monday, 24 Apr 2017 03:45 PM

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros stepped up her fight with her ex-employer claiming in a new lawsuit that she was a victim of hacking, electronic surveillance and a social media harassment campaign that mirrors the plot of an episode of "Homeland."

Tantaros seeks unspecified damages from the company, Fox News’s former Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes and other executives in the lawsuit, filed Monday in Manhattan federal court.

Fox News didn’t have an immediate comment on the lawsuit. Susan Estrich, Ailes’s lawyer, said the case has no merit.

Tantaros’s claimed in a sexual harassment lawsuit last year that Fox operated like a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult.” Her lawsuit followed a similar claim against Ailes filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. Other complaints from Fox News employees followed leading to Ailes’s firing. Bill O’Reilly, the network’s top-rated host, was fired last week after women complained he sexually harassed them. And Fox’s top-rated female anchor, Megyn Kelly, bolted for NBC.

Carlson settled her lawsuit for $20 million. Tantaros’s sexual-harassment claim was sent to private arbitration.

Fox News Said to Pay $20 Million in Carlson Sex-Bias Suit

Tantaros’s new lawsuit builds on her sexual-harassment claims, alleging that the company engaged in “bizarre and shocking” behavior designed to “emotionally torture” her into surrendering her legal claims.

Fox violated criminal laws by planting software on Tantaros’s personal computer that allowed for monitoring of her communications, according to the complaint.

Fox “sockpuppet” accounts on the Internet then posted "an endless stream of lewd, offensive and career-damaging social media posts, blog entries and commentary and high-profile ‘fake’ media sites." Sockpuppets refer to fake online identities created by individuals or companies to promote opinions or causes, while appearing to act indepedently.

In June, one of her close friends was hospitalized for a scorpion bite, which she discussed with friends by telephone, according to the lawsuit. One of the claimed sockpuppet accounts tweeted an ad for the 1957 movie "The Black Scorpion." The same month, Tantaros and her mother had a phone conversation discussing the anniversary of her brother’s 2013 death. Another sockpuppet account tweeted "PURPLE MEMORIAL ... FOR DANIEL TANTAROS, R.I.P. DANIEL.”

Tantaros claims the social media postings were intended "to emotionally devastate her and make her concerned about her physical safety." The technique was similar to the type of "professional digital character-assassination" portrayed in a Homeland episode titled "Sock-Puppet," Tantaros said in the complaint.

The case is Tantaros v. Fox News Network, 17-cv-02958, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros stepped up her fight with her ex-employer claiming in a new lawsuit that she was a victim of hacking, electronic surveillance and a social media harassment campaign that mirrors the plot of an episode of "Homeland."Tantaros seeks...
andrea tantaros, fox, lawsuit, sock, puppets
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2017-45-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 03:45 PM
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