Ailes Ouster Didn’t Change Culture at Fox, Tantaros Claimsby
Former Fox Host Files Rebuttal to ‘Wannabe’ Accusation
Therapist Says Tantaros Told Her of Harassment in 2014
Roger Ailes’s ouster as head of Fox News doesn’t change the culture of harassment and misogyny at the cable-news network because his replacement, Bill Shine, was part of the problem, lawyers for former host Andrea Tantaros said.
Tantaros, who sued Fox in a Manhattan court last month claiming she was sexually harassed, filed an affidavit from her therapist who said she complained about Ailes and then Shine starting two years ago.
“In 2014, Andrea told me about meetings with Mr. Ailes in his office where he engaged in highly inappropriate and offensive behavior,” therapist Michele Berdy said in the affidavit dated Sept. 15. Shine allegedly rebuffed Tantaros’s complaints about Ailes, telling her "don’t fight this" because the network boss was "a very powerful man," according to Berdy.
Berdy also claimed she volunteered the sworn statement after reading news accounts of the controversy. The filing, provided by Tantaros’s lawyers, couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records.
Fox News said in an e-mail, “We stand by our earlier motion to compel arbitration."
Tantaros’s suit came as the network was grappling with similar allegations from news anchor Gretchen Carlson that ultimately led to a $20 million settlement and Ailes’s ouster.
Fox assailed her complaint as “filled with falsehoods” in an Aug. 29 filing in which it asked the court to shunt Tantaros’s claim to arbitration, a legal maneuver that would limit her recourse if she wasn’t satisfied with the result.
In support of that bid, network lawyers submitted a legal brief stating, “her complaint 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.”
She has rejected a seven-figure settlement offer from Fox, the lawyers said in a statement.
The case is Tantaros v. Fox News Network LLC, 157054/2016, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).