Andrea Tantaros, a former host of Fox News Channel program like “The Five” and “Outnumbered,” is the latest female staffer at the popular cable-news outlet to levy sexual-harassment charges at the 21st Century Fox-owned property.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Tantaros alleged that senior executives at the network retaliated against her after she complained about being inappropriate remarks made to her by Roger Ailes, the former chairman and chief executive of the network. Ailes left Fox News last month in the wake of an internal investigation that is believed to have turned up evidence of several female employees at the operation being harassed sexually during their time of employment. Ailes has denied all allegations, the first of which were made by Gretchen Carlson, another former Fox News Channel anchor who alleged her contract at the network was terminated after she complained about how women were treated at the news network,.
A Fox News spokesperson said the network would not comment on pending litigation.
The legal filing is the most recent twist in a saga that has fascinated New York media circles. The network’s parent company has moved quickly to resolve the matter, placing executive chairman Rupert Murdoch in charge of Fox News and Fox Business, and elevating longtime senior employees Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy to co-presidents of the units. Fox News ratings continue to dominate those of rivals, and the company seems to hope that its business can continue on as usual. Even so, a parade of former staffers who have revealed lurid allegations about treatment during their time at the network continues to keep the matter in the public eye.
In the suit, Tantaros alleges Ailes made demeaning remarks to her, such as “I bet you look good in a bikini,” and also asked inappropriate questions about her romantic life as well as the lives of other Fox News staffers. When Tarantos and her representatives complained to senior Fox News executives, the suit alleges, the anchor was first moved to the daytime program “Outnumbered’ from “The Five,” and was told to cease her complaints because it was likely she would not prevail.
The suit seeks as much as $23 million, as well as $26 million in punitive damages and reimbursement of attorney fees.