Fox News has again urged a judge to send former host Andrea Tantaros’ sexual harassment suit to closed-door arbitration, arguing that she made her claims against former network boss Roger Ailes for publicity.
Fox’s latest motion, filed Friday in the Supreme Court of New York, tied Tantaros’ suit to the release of her new book “Tied Up In Knots,” and characterized her as fame-hungry, saying “she craves ‘the spotlight of a public courtroom’ so she can get her picture in the paper yet again and hawk some copies of her book.”
“This is a Court of law, not a circus to showcase Plaintiff’s publicity stunts,” it continues.
Tarantaros filed her suit in August, after Ailes had already been ousted from the network. She alleged that Ailes and others at Fox News had made unwanted sexual advances toward her and contributed to a culture of misogyny there.
“Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,” her complaint read.
Ailes has strenuously denied allegations of sexual harassment through his lawyers.
After Fox filed a prior motion to move the suit to arbitration, Tantaros released an affidavit from a psychologist who said she’d discussed Ailes’ alleged harassment against her in 2014. Tantaros and her attorney appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to discuss that affidavit, something that the Fox argues only adds fuel to the fire that Tantaros is only using the suit as a publicity vehicle.
“The affidavit is completely irrelevant to this Motion, as demonstrated by the fact that it is not cited even once in the ‘Argument’ section of her memorandum of law,” the brief states “As Plaintiff hoped, however, her ploy generated another firestorm of publicity, including her appearance on Good Morning America, with her counsel at her side, to discuss her claims against Fox News, while she was still employed by Fox News.”
Tantaros’ lawyer, Judd Burstein, said in an emailed statement that Fox is a trying to deflect attention from the affidavit from Tantaros’s therapist in the latest filing.
“This new evidence has left Fox News and the other defendants reeling,” the statement reads. “With the option of falsely attacking Ms. Tantaros’s character and truthfulness no longer available, the defendants have nothing left other than the disingenuous argument that Ms. Tantaros’s compelling proof of the misconduct and abuse that she suffered is now ‘gratuitous.’ “
Burstein also called upon Fox News to release an unredacted version of an email from him that they included in the latest filing in redacted form, as well as the details of the network’s internal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes before it hosts the final presidential debate on Wednesday night.
“If Fox News wants to continue touting its mantra that it is ‘The Most Trusted Name in News,’ it has a duty to be honest with the public about the culture that Ailes promulgated,” the statement read.
This post has been updated to include a statement from Tantaros’ lawyer.
Read the filing below: