According to the latest addition to the increasingly long list of sexual harassment allegations against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, network personality Andrea Tantaros lodged numerous complaints against her former boss.
New York’s Gabriel Sherman reports that, since Gretchen Carlson filed a harassment lawsuit against Ailes in July, that the network has claimed that it was unaware of any previous allegations against the former CEO. But Tantaros’ lawyers counter that the network’s narrative simply isn’t true. According to Tantaros, she complained about Ailes’ inappropriate behavior in 2015 and, in response, she was demoted and later taken off the air.
Through her lawyer, Judd Burstein, Tantaros says that both she and her agent told Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine, senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, and general counsel Dianne Brandi about episodes of Ailes’s alleged harassment. “She made multiple harassment and hostile-workplace complaints,” Burstein says. As far as Tantaros knows, Fox executives never investigated her complaints, Burstein says; instead, they claim, Fox sidelined her. “I believe it’s retaliatory,” says Burstein.
Lawyers for Fox News dispute Tantaros’ claims. Instead, they say that Tantaros was suspended after the publication of her recent book, Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What They Wanted Has Made Women Miserable, which bills itself as a “candid and humorous romp” about the failures of feminism. Fox said that the cover of the book, which features Tantaros tied up with white rope, “embarrassed” the network.
According to Tantaros, Ailes made numerous comments about her body and “asked her to twirl,” so that he could see her body. She alleges that her rebuffs of Ailes’ advancements led to her demotion from the evening show The Five to Outnumbered, an afternoon talk show featuring four female panelists and “one lucky guy.” Tantaros complained about Ailes’ behavior and on April 30, 2015, filed a formal complaint. Her allegations bear a striking similarity to the timeline Gretchen Carlson laid out in her earlier lawsuit.
Though Tantaros is still on Fox’s payroll, she has not been on the air since April. Her Twitter has been made private.