Tamara Holder describes her sexual assault by a Fox News executive: "Fox News ruined people's lives. [Rupert Murdoch] ruined my life"
Following remarks by Rupert Murdoch downplaying issues at Fox News, former Fox contributor Tamara Holder speaks out: Murdoch "says that there were cases that amounted to flirting. Let me be clear. I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it"
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From the December 17 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
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TAMARA HOLDER: I just -- I want to be very clear here. I would not have been able to be sitting here to say what I'm about to say if it wasn't for [Fox News executive chairman] Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch and what he said. Because my settlement, in exchange for money, I had to agree to be quiet except if I was disparaged or maligned. And because Mr. Murdoch said what he said, that 60 seconds has allowed me to speak out. So what I would like to do -- this is not fake news -- I want to go through the fake facts that Mr. Murdoch spouted out in that 60 minutes.
HOLDER: He ruined -- Fox News ruined people's lives. He ruined my life. I don't have a job in TV anymore because the place that he has secured down like Fort Knox allowed abusive predators to prey on women who just wanted to work. That is not nonsense. This is people's lives.
He said it wasn't just [former Fox News CEO] Roger [Ailes]. Well, we don't need to name names. We all know that it wasn't just Roger. He said nothing more since then. That's a lie. We also know that [former Fox News host] Bill O'Reilly paid $30 plus million to somebody and then, of course, they rehired him after that. Largely political.
I want to say something. I gave up my law practice to go to Fox News in New York, to work for Fox News, as a Democrat, to be a sports commentator, a legal commentator, all of those things. I wasn't planted by Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. None of us were. We just wanted to work. And when we came out and spoke out, this had nothing to do with politics. This had to do with something that Mr. Murdoch knows every day. And that's called rights. He has rights. He doesn't -- he's not worried about anything. He has all the money in the world. He's cool. He has billions. We just wanted to work. That's all we've ever wanted to do, was work. And it has nothing to do with politics.
He says there that were cases that amounted to flirting. Let me be clear. I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting. That was criminal. That was not sexual harassment. There are no gray areas, whatever Matt Damon recently said. This is criminal. And I'm not the only case. There are just women who can't speak out.
HOLDER: There's something else about my agreement. And they'll probably sue me. My agreement said that I couldn't ever apply for a job at any Fox News corporation. I could never work for Fox News or any other place that Fox News owned. Here in Chicago, Fox News owns media entities, and -- or 21st Century Fox. So I am now being punished, on top of not having a career in TV, I can't even apply for a job because he allowed me to be abused in his workplace and didn't protect me? And I can't work anywhere now? There's something wrong with me?
It's just pain, on top of pain, on top of pain. And then for him to say something like that, that's just so dismissive, there's so many women, Brian, who are hurting. We just want to work. Like, I had to do an MDMA, illegal therapy, to deal with my PTSD, because I couldn't function. And thankfully, it's helped me, but I just want to work. Like, what's -- why? Why is he denying this? If he and Bill O'Reilly and everybody else -- Bill O'Reilly's on Twitter saying this is political, that's their new line. If this is political, then let's take these cases to trial. Hey, I'm down. Let's open it up. You're the ones who wanted to settle. You're the ones that wanted us to be quiet.
HOLDER: So, I would just -- as a plea to other networks out there -- I'm not making a plea for myself. I'll be OK. But hire one of us. It's nice that we're on to talk about this, but you have all this talent sitting at home, dying inside. We just want to work. Bring us back. Allow us to do what we did before we were abused.