Fox News told a judge on Friday that former host Andrea Tantaros “craves the spotlight of a public courtroom” in order to “hawk some copies of her book,” according to documents obtained by TheWrap.
The network asked the judge to send Tantaros’ sexual harassment claim to arbitration, but her team said her arbitration agreement didn’t include unexpected tortious behavior like retaliation or harassment, for which she is suing.
Tantaros’ lawyers submitted an affidavit from a psychologist who heard Tantaros complain about harassment by former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes back in 2014. Tantaros’ lawyer Judd Bernstein gave copies of the affidavit to the media, prompting Fox News’ charges that Tantaros simply wants attention.
“The affidavit is completely irrelevant to this Motion, as demonstrated by the fact that it is not cited even once in the ‘Argument’ section of her memorandum of law,” the network said in court papers.
The document continues: “As Plaintiff hoped, however, her ploy generated another firestorm of publicity, including her appearance on ‘Good Morning America,’ with her counsel at her side, to discuss her claims against Fox News, while she was still employed by Fox News.”
The defense concluded, “This is a Court of law, not a circus to showcase Plaintiff’s publicity stunts. This Court should compel Plaintiff to honor her contractual obligation to arbitrate in confidence all claims arising from or relating to her employment by Fox News.”
“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 lawsuit stated.
Fox News quickly fired back, seeking arbitration and calling Tantaros “not a victim” but “an opportunist.”
In her lawsuit, Tantaros called her gig at Fox News her “dream job,” but alleged that she was “the victim of demeaning conduct, such as being instructed to wear clothes that showed off her legs, and being required to annually pick on-air clothing in the middle of a room without the benefit of even a curtain, thereby forcing her to strip down in front of Fox News wardrobe personnel.”
Earlier this month, Tantaros discussed her sexual harassment lawsuit on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I think a culture change at Fox News is in order,” she said. “Ailes sexually harassed me numerous times.”