Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News, former CEO Roger Ailes and newly appointed co-president Bill Shine, and the legal document is filled with damning allegations.
“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,” Tantaros alleges in the suit filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are five more jaw-dropping nuggets mined from Tantaros’ long list of complaints she hopes will net her $10 million.
“Ailes did not act alone”
Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes also mentioned “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy, but the majority was about the former CEO of the network. Tantaros takes it to a new level, even naming Fox News executives Bill Shine, Dianne Brandi, Irena Briganti and Suzanne Scott as defendants.
“In recent months, other women have finally, and laudably, come forward to reveal Defendant Roger Ailes (“Ailes”) as the sexual predator that he is. However this Complaint is not just about Ailes; it also gives life to the saying that ‘the fish stinks from the head,'” the suit says. “For Ailes did not act alone. He may have been the primary culprit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants, who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation.”
O’Reilly wanted a “very private” experience with Tantaros
Bill O’Reilly is the network’s biggest star and the highest-rated host in all of cable news, so it’s no surprise he has a getaway in Long Island, but Tantaros didn’t appreciate his invitations to join him there.
The court document shows Tantaros is also claiming to have received unwanted sexual advances from O’Reilly, alleging that the “O’Reilly Factor” host asked her to stay with him in Long Island where it would be “very private” and repeatedly told her she probably had a “wild side.” Back in 2004, an associate producer accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment but the two parties quickly settled out of court.
O’Reilly, however, is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Brand new co-president Bill Shine didn’t care about the poor treatment of women at network
Fox News announced a new senior leadership team and management structure earlier this month, naming Jack Abernethy and Shine co-presidents in wake of Ailes’ departure.
The suit claims Tantaros tried to discuss how Ailes was behaving with Shine, but to no avail. According to the suit, Shine told Tantaros that she should not “fight this” and that she “needed to let this one go.”
Tantaros’ lawsuit reads, “Shine’s inexplicable elevation sends the message that it will be ‘business as usual’ at Fox News when it comes to the treatment of women.”
Suzanne Scott was named executive vice president of programming and development as part of the network’s restructuring. Scott who reports to Shine, is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Ailes called Kimberly Guilfoyle a “Puerto Rican whore”
The lawsuit claims that Ailes repeatedly asked Tantaros “incredibly offensive and inappropriate” questions. The examples listed in the documents include asking if Dana Perino is a lesbian, if Greg Gutfeld is gay, if Perino and Gutfeld are sleeping together, and if Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling are “screwing.”
The suit also says that Ailes told Tantaros that Perino would “be a good time” if she ever let her hair down, said Harris Faulkner “has the tendency to look like the angry black woman,” and called Guilfoyle a “Puerto Rican whore.”
The Murdochs are part of the problem, too
21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch briefly took over Fox News when Ailes resigned in disgrace, running the show for a few weeks before naming Shine and Abernethy co-presidents.
“Perhaps even more disturbing is that those ultimately in control of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch and his sons (collectively, the “Murdochs”), are plainly not disturbed by Ailes’s conduct and the retaliatory conduct by Fox News senior executives; they are only upset that Ailes was outed,” the suit says.
Lachlan Murdoch, one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons, has claimed he wants to protect Fox News employees but the suit says, “The Murdochs have been misleading the public into believing that they are taking action.”
The suit continues: “The Murdochs have actually rewarded Ailes’s coconspirators by not terminating their employment, and, most egregiously, elevating Shine to the position of Co-President of Fox News.”