Large media conglomerate 21st Century Fox continues to contend with fallout from disclosure of an unsavory corporate culture at its Fox News operations made when former chief Roger Ailes left the unit last year, and is believed to have reached a $2.5 million settlement with a Fox News Channel contributor who alleged that she was the victim of sexual assault by an executive, according to a report in The New York Times.
The report, which cites people briefed on the agreement, said Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor, reported allegations this past fall that an executive at the unit tried in February of 2015 to make her perform oral sex. The executive, alleged to be Francisco Cortes, the vice president for Fox News Latino, had his employment terminated after Fox investigated Holder’s claims, the Times report said. Holder left Fox News after her contract expired in early January of this year.
Fox News has been a source of conflagration for its parent company. One the one hand, the cable network’s popularity with Republicans has made it a major contributor to 21st Century Fox profit. On the other, a bevy of allegations of sexual harassment made since former anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of similar charges last summer, suggest the company is still grappling with the issue. Ailes denied the allegations.
The Times published a joint statement made by Holder and Fox News that acknowledged she “reported an incident of sexual assault at Fox News headquarters from the prior year” in September 2015. “Immediately after Ms. Holder notified Fox News of the alleged incident, the company promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network. Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success,” the statement said.