Fox News has responded to a lawsuit filed last week by Andrea Tantaros, a former host on the cable channel, who is accusing the channel and former boss Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.
In the filing by Fox News today in New York, which you can read by clicking here, the network denies Tantaros’ allegations and says, “Tantaros is not a victim; she is an opportunist.”
As we reported last week, besides Ailes, Tantaros’ suit names his replacement Bill Shine, along with Executive VP of Legal Affairs Dianne Brandi, Executive VP of Corporate Communications Irena Briganti and Executive VP of Programming and Development Suzanne Scott as defendants.
In the new filing, Fox News seeks to have her complaint sent to arbitration.
“Tantaros was suspended months ago by Fox News for breaching her Employment Agreement by writing an unauthorized book and is a party to a pending arbitration proceeding before the [American Arbitration Association],” the filing states. “After shopping her supposed harassment story directly to the media without much success, she decided simply to ignore her obligation to proceed in arbitration, just as she ignored her other contractual commitments at Fox News, leading to her suspension.”
The filing adds: “Tantaros’s unverified complaint of August 22 in this Court bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe’: she claims now 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. Not to be outdone by anyone, she contends that she was sexually harassed by an ever-shifting collection of employees at Fox News; she charges that outside counsel retained by 21st Century Fox deliberately ignored her purportedly important harassment story (actually, her lawyer, Joseph C. Cane, Jr., failed to return a telephone call from the law firm, Paul Weiss, retained to conduct the investigation); and she claims retaliation even though she concedes that she has not been terminated and remains on Fox News’ payroll.”
Click here to read the full filing by Fox News.