×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Seeks Sanctions in Andrea Tantaros Case

Fox News Channel said it would seek sanctions against the attorney handling a case filed against it and two of its senior executives by Andrea Tantaros, a one-time Fox News staffer, and dismissed her lawsuit as a “hoax.”

In a memo filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, attorneys for Fox News said Tantaros’ claims, which involved allegations of false “sock puppet” social-media accounts set up for the purposes of harassment, were untrue. “Pleadings in federal court are not supposed to be works of fiction; they must be grounded in fact,” said the memo, filed on behalf of Fox News Channel, former co-president Bill Shine, and executive vice president of corporate communications Irena Briganti.

Judd Burstein, an attorney for Tantaros, in a statement dismissed Fox News’ motion as “frivolous.”

“Mr. Burstein, who has already been chastised by the state court in this dispute, simply seeks to divert attention from his baseless federal complaint by misstating the facts,” said Andrew J. Levander, a attorney at Dechert working on behalf of Fox News, in a statement. “Our motion for sanctions, supported by indisputable sworn statements and documentary evidence as well as overwhelming judicial authority, speaks for itself.”

Tantaros, a former host of Fox News shows like “The Five” and “Outnumbered,”  in August of last year filed suit alleging that senior executives at the 21st Century-owned 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, who recently passed away, left Fox News last year in the wake of an investigation into allegations by current and former employees that he sexually harassed them. He denied all charges.

Her suit, which sought as much as $23 million, along with $26 million in punitive damages and the reimbursement of attorney fees, alleged 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.

But Fox News’ new argument centers on allegations Tantaros made that  Fox News ” hacked her laptop computer, tapped her telephone, and then tortured her with the information gathered from those acts by sending her coded messages through a ‘sockpuppet’ social media account.” The new motion calls these allegations “an outright hoax,” and cites the example of a Twitter account operated by a Daniel Wayne Block. Tantaros had claimed Fox News used that account to tweet things to her that it had heard in her personal communications.

The legal matter is only one of several with which Fox News is contending. The cable unit is also the subject of a handful of lawsuits alleging sexual and racial discrimination at the company. Fox News has in recent weeks taken steps to bolster its human resources department and has put together a new senior staff.

More TV

  • Naomi Watts

    Naomi Watts to Star in Jason Blum-Produced Quibi Series 'Wolves and Villagers' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Naomi Watts has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Quibi series “Wolves and Villagers,” Variety has learned exclusively. The exact plot of the short-form series is being kept under wraps, but Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously described the show as “Fatal Attraction 2.0.” Jason Blum is executive producing the series, with [...]

  • HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops

    HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops Trailer

    “Revolutionary,” “superstars,” “the voice of true New Yorkers” — that’s how Spike Lee and other influential figures describe journalists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in the trailer released for HBO’s “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists” documentary. The film, which premieres Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, follows the two newspaper columnists whose dedication and wit [...]

  • Riverdale Chapter Twenty-Six

    TV News Roundup: 'Riverdale' Sets 'Heathers' Musical Episode

    In Thursday’s roundup, “Riverdale” is set to tackle “Heathers: The Musical,” and Freeform has announced its second annual summit. DATES  The musical episode of the CW’s “Riverdale,” featuring nine songs, will air Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On the show, Riverdale High School takes on “Heathers: The Musical,” with queen bees Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), [...]

  • The Bone Collector

    NBC Orders 'Bone Collector' Drama Pilot 'Lincoln'

    NBC has ordered the drama pilot “Lincoln,” formerly known as “The Bone Collector.” Based on the internationally bestselling book series, “Lincoln” follows legendary forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme, who was seriously injured during his hunt for the diabolic serial killer known as the Bone Collector. Called back into action when the killer re-emerges, Lincoln forms a [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • vudu-free-movies-tv-shows

    Walmart Brushes Off Reports of Streaming Development Halt

    Walmart isn’t ruling out options for a potential streaming video service, a company spokesperson says. Responding to a CNBC report that the mega-retailer had decided not to launch its own streaming entertainment service after all, Walmart would not confirm that there was any halt in development of such a platform, and did not have anything definitive [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content