A Fox News anchor claims she was taken off the air after making repeated sexual harassment complaints about Roger Ailes.
Andrea Tantaros has filed a lawsuit alleging that executives ignored multiple complaints about the disgraced former Fox News head’s behavior in 2015, NY Mag reports.
After she refused to back down, she says she was first demoted then eventually taken off the air in April 2016, according to the suit.
Tantaros is the latest woman to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him in July.
Ailes stepped down as CEO of Fox News last month amid a flurry of sex pest allegations.
Carlson sued Ailes on July 6, claiming she was cut loose after she refused his sexual advances and complained about harassment in the workplace.
The 50-year-old Carlson, who was Miss America in 1989, alleged in her lawsuit that Ailes, who is 76, ogled her, repeatedly commented about her legs, urged her to wear clothes that enhanced her figure and told her she was sexy but ‘too much hard work.’
Ailes, in a statement, denied the allegations and accused Carlson of filing the lawsuit in retaliation for her contract not being renewed.
Former television executive Shelley Ross has also since come forward, claiming that Ailes tried to start a ‘sexual alliance’ with her.
Ross says she had just been offered a job at NBC’s The Tomorrow Show in the spring of 1981, when Ailes was executive producer of the show, when they had an uncomfortable meeting.
During the meeting, at a restaurant, she claims Ailes asked her: ‘When did you first discover you were sexy?’
He was also ‘very persistent’ as he explained how the best way to solidify loyalty was from a ‘sexual alliance,’ she said in her lawsuit.
Ross said that she had called to turn down the job the next day but was persuaded to stay by an apologetic Ailes and eventually ended up accepting the role.
Just hours before Ailes resigned last month, with an alleged $40 million payout, another report surfaced, claiming that Ailes’ star female anchor Megyn Kelly had joined the chorus of employees making sexual harassment claims against him.
In Tantaros’ case, she says that the harassment first began on August 12, 2014, when Ailes allegedly asked the journalist to do ‘the twirl’ so he could see her figure.
She refused but later that year she says Ailes demanded that she come over so he could ‘give her a hug,’ according to the lawsuit. Once again she turned him down.
Tantaros claims that she and her agent told Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine, senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, and general counsel Dianne Brandi about numerous examples of Ailes’s alleged harassment.
‘She made multiple harassment and hostile-workplace complaints,’ her lawyer Judd Burstein said.
The former Fox anchor, who was taken off the air in April 2016 but continues to be paid, says that the executives ignored her complaints and targeted her instead.
‘I believe it’s retaliatory,’ says Burstein.
n February 2015, Tantaros says in her lawsuit that she was harassed again by Ailes who asked about her workout routine because her body ‘looked good’, adding she must ‘really look good in a bikini.’
That same month she was demoted from The Five show in February 2015 to a midday program called Outnumbered.
In April that year, Tantaros says she filed a formal workplace harassment complaint to Shine.
But when she met him the following day to discuss, she was warned that Roger was ‘a very powerful man’ and not to fight the harassment case.
She says that both she and her agent made several more complaints to Shine and Brandi with no success.
Tantaros was then taken off air in April 2016.
Fox denies the allegations however, saying that Tantaros was suspended because she violated company policy.
They claim that she did not allow them to vet her new book – Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What They Wanted Has Made Women Miserable – which depicts Tantaros tied up with ropes on the front cover.
Fox did not immediately respond to a request by reporters for comment.