Fox News Slams Tantaros As ‘Wannabe’ And ‘Opportunist’ In Response To Suit

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In its first court filing in response to Andrea Tantaros’ lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by former CEO Roger Ailes, Fox News characterizes Tantaros as “an opportunist” and “wannabe” and asked the court to push the case into closed-door arbitration.

The response, filed in New York Supreme Court on Monday, accuses Tantaros of piggy-backing on the torrent of sexual harassment allegations that eventually forced Ailes’ resignation. Tantaros sued the network and top executives last week, charging that she had been demoted after reporting sexual harassment by Ailes, whom she alleged was sheltered by the “Playboy Mansion-like cult” of the network.

“Tantaros is not a victim; she is an opportunist,” Fox News’ attorneys wrote. Tantaros’ complaint, which named Fox News executives Bill Shine, Dianne Brandi, Suzanne Scott and PR chief Irena Briganti as defendants along with Ailes, “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe’: she claims that she too was victimized by Roger Ailes, when, in fact, contrary to her pleading, she never complained of any such conduct in the course of an investigation months ago.”

The network says that Tantaros was pulled off the air in April for breaching her contract by not seeking the network’s approval to publish her book, which features her in “a submissive and sexualized position” bound in ropes on its cover. Tantaros remains on the network’s payroll.

The filing states that 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, “has made clear its commitment to providing a safe and dignified workplace” in “the last few weeks” by launching an independent investigation into the allegations against Ailes.

The former CEO has strenuously denied allegation of sexual harassment through his lawyers.

The motion to compel arbitration also alleges that Tantaros, “not to be outdone by anyone,” contends she “was was sexually harassed by an ever-shifting collection of employees at Fox News” and that Fox News executives ignored her reports of alleged harassment. But when investigators at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss followed up with her lawyer at the time, he did not return the call to participate in the probe, the network says.

Judd Burstein, Tantaros’ attorney, said in a statement to TPM that the motion, filed on behalf of all the network executives named in the suit other than Ailes, shows Fox News “has all but acknowledged that Roger Ailes did sexually harass Andrea Tantaros.”

“If Mr. Ailes were innocent, Fox News would also be defending him,” Burstein said in the statement. “Instead, they have dropped him like the proverbial hot potato in the hope that his former cabal members can continue in place.”

He also said Tantaros’ suit should not be resolved in the “shadows” of arbitration.

The network’s filing came the same day that Tantaros, through her attorney, challenged the defendants to submit to a lie detector test and have the results made public.

The earlier statement from Burstein provided a list of highly specific questions to be posed to each defendant, along with the offer for Tantaros to answer any and all questions chosen by Fox News representatives in her own lie detector test.


Read the full filing below:

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. A story that has “Tantaros”, “Ailes”, “sexual harassment” and “piggybacking” definitely got me doing a search in google images;)

  2. Welp, if history is any guide, her seven figure check is all but written. First they vilify, then they settle.

  3. Does Amazon sell 55 gallon barrel’s of snark?

    I’m running real low and it’s only Monday.

    The whole GOP/Drumpf/Fox/AltRight/Caribou Barbie stream of unconsciousness is wiping me out.

  4. Avatar for meri meri says:

    I’m sure they’ll get their revenge by putting “SLUT” in the memo line of the check.

  5. Avatar for edhedh edhedh says:

    oh, come on fox. in the effort to be fair and balanced, let’s just play this out in the public domain. if you’ve got nothing to hide, what could go wrong? oh, yeah. that credibility thingy.

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