UPDATED at 12:30 am on 7/17 with a statement from Fox News
In a test case for a new rule about sexual harassment claims, former Fox News personality Andrea Tantaros is trying to bring her fight with the channel into open court.
The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports that the former co-host of “The Five” has gotten nowhere in arbitration, and is looking for help from a #MeToo law enacted last year by lawmakers in New York. The law “ostensibly prevents sexual harassment claims from being arbitrated,” the story reports.
“In April 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law — Section 7515 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules — into effect,” THR reports. “The move was hugely influenced by Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Fox News’ Roger Ailes, which before being settled, raised the prospect that she’d be forced into arbitration. The #MeToo movement sparked similar anti-arbitration statutes around the nation, but those have gone largely untested thus far.”
The report adds: “Tantaros alleges that she was subjected to demeaning comments about her body from Ailes, given a ‘graveyard’ on-air time slot when she rebuffed his advances, and also experienced sexual harassment from former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. In February 2017, a New York judge threw her lawsuit to arbitration, an event that was overshadowed when her attorney at the time blabbed in open court about a federal investigation of how Fox had handled sexual harassment claims against Ailes. She subsequently attempted a racketeering suit against Fox for surveilling and stalking her, but that was unsuccessful, too.”
Tantaros has reportedly filed a petition in New York state court to stop arbitration in her case.
Fox News sent us this statement about the THR story: “Due to pending litigation, we will reserve our comment for the court system, through which we will fight this baseless petition.”