CNN Outlines The “Shocking Allegations” In Andrea Tantaros’ Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes And Fox News
Brian Stelter: Tantaros’ Lawsuit Alleges That Fox News “Operates Like A Sex-Fueled, Playboy Mansion-Like Cult Steeped In Intimidation, Indecency, And Misogyny”
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From the August 23 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:
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BRIAN STELTER: Hi Carol, yes that's right. Now a second former Fox News host alleging sexual harassment by Roger Ailes. But this new lawsuit goes further, naming several other defendants as well as Fox News as a whole. Now when Gretchen Carlson filed her suit back in July, it really opened up this wider story about the culture and the conduct of Fox News officials and of what women employees of the network experience both on-air and off the air. Now once Carlson sued, the owners of Fox News, the Murdochs, initiated an internal view done by an external law firm. And that's when women came forward, we believe more than 20 women came forward speaking to the law firm about their experiences with Ailes. However, until now only one person, Carlson, has been suing. Now Andrea Tantaros is joining Carlson by filing her own lawsuit alleging retaliation by Ailes after she tried to complain about harassment by Ailes and other men at Fox News. Now this suit has some pretty shocking allegations, and here’s what the beginning of it says: it says “Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy mansion-like cult steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” The suit goes on to say that Tantaros tried to complain to several people at Fox News, several executives, about alleged harassment and that these complaints fell on deaf ears. As a result she says she was retaliated against. She was demoted and eventually benched by the network back in April. At the time, people at Fox said this was the result of a contract dispute, that she tried to publish a book without receiving the necessary approvals from Fox News. But now Tantaros' attorney is saying that was a sham, that the real thing that was happening behind the scenes was that Fox News was trying to keep her quiet about this alleged harassment. Now the suit goes on to say this isn't just about Ailes. I quote this complaint “gives life to the saying that ‘the fish stinks from the head.’” It names several other executives at Fox News, including Bill Shine, who was recently appointed the new co-president, in effect taking over for Ailes. It also singles out the public relations arm at Fox News, saying the PR people were leaking negative stories about Tantaros and putting items on blogs and on Twitter feeds that were meant to disparage her and hurt her reputation. So far, Fox has had nothing to say about this new lawsuit, but Ailes continues to deny the allegations against him, and Bill Shine, the new co-president, said a couple of weeks ago, that he was never told by Tantaros of harassment by Ailes. Carol, we’ll see how the story develops in the days and weeks to come.