A former executive of Fox News filed a lawsuit Tuesday against 21st Century Fox accusing the company of making him a scapegoat in its struggle with sexual harassment allegations.
The New York Times reports: “Francisco Cortes, who was the vice president for Fox News Latino, was accused of sexual assault by Tamara N. Holder, a former Fox News contributor, who said he tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in his office in February 2015. She did not immediately pursue the matter with the police or with Fox. The New York Times reported in March that 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, had reached a settlement with Ms. Holder worth more than $2.5 million.”
Cortes says in today’s filing that he couldn’t defend himself at the time of the settlement because of an agreement not to discuss the situation, the AP reports. But he is proclaiming his innocence and saying he was tricked into signing the agreement, the story reports.
“Cortes is seeking more than $36 million from Fox parent 21st Century Fox,” the AP reports. “Fox calls the lawsuit’s allegations frivolous and without merit.”
The Times quotes the complaint saying: “Mr. Cortes has served as a useful and relatively inexpensive ‘Patsy’ for Fox to help it demonstrate that it has aggressively handled sexual harassment complaints.”