At this point, it might seem like there’s not much more you can say about the rampant sexual harassment that went down at Fox News under former head Roger Ailes. But the new lawsuit from Tantaros—posted online by Think Progress—really goes the extra mile in depicting the network’s pervasive environment of exploitation and retaliation, for which she is now seeking a total of up to $49 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
This culture allegedly spread to the on-air talent, including the former senator from Massachusetts:
On or about August 18, 2015, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (“Brown”) appeared on Outnumbered. Brown made a number of sexually inappropriate comments to Tantaros on set, including, and in a suggestive manner, that Tantaros “would be fun to go to a nightclub with.” After the show was over, Brown snuck up behind Tantaros while she was purchasing lunch and put his hands on her lower waist. She immediately pulled back, telling Brown to “stop.” Tantaros then immediately met with [executive Bill] Shine to complain, asking him to ensure that Brown would never be booked on the show again. Shine said that he would talk to Scott. Thereafter, Shine and Scott ignored Tantaros’s complaint, and continued to book Brown on Outnumbered.
Tantaros also alleges that Bill O’Reilly invited her to stay at his home on Long Island, where he told her it would be “very private.” He reportedly told her multiple times he could “see you as a wild girl.” When Tantaros complained, she says, the only response she received was that she would no longer be invited to appear on The O’Reilly Factor.
Brown denies the accusations, saying they are “completely and totally false.”
Tantaros also says she complained about Ailes’s sexual advances, as well as his well-known demands that she wear tight, revealing clothes on-air and show off her body to him. In response, she was allegedly subjected to bad publicity in Ailes-linked media outlets like TVNewser and defamed by sock-puppet accounts on social media. This came in addition to being booted from The Five, which ran at the coveted 5 p.m. ET slot, to the afternoon show Outnumbered. She says executives at Fox News justified the transfer by claiming (falsely, she says, with evidence to back it up) that she had not informed them of her plans to publish a book. Finally, she says they attempted to use a grueling arbitration proceeding to force her into silence.