Another name has been added to the list of women speaking up about mistreatment they received at Fox News. In a new report, Tamara Holder alleges that the vice president for Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes, sexually assaulted her in February 2015. Holder didn’t come forward with her accusations until the Fall of 2016, fearing retribution from the network. Now, she has reached a settlement with the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox.
The agreement was for $2.5 million dollars, according to the New York Times, and Fox and Holder released a joint statement on Wednesday about the company’s actions after she told them about the attack:
“Immediately after Ms. Holder notified Fox News of the alleged incident, the company promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network,” the statement continued. “Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success.”
Cortes and Holder were reportedly alone in his office when he offered her a shot of tequila. After they drank it, he attempted to hold the door shut while forcing her mouth towards his penis, which he’d taken out of his pants. She fled the room. Holder says she didn’t attempt to talk about the assault earlier, because she had previously been chastised for other complaints and feared she would be labeled “toxic.” She also claims other attempts to talk with executives had been dismissed in the past.
It was not until Roger Ailes was pushed out of Fox following accusations of sexual harassment from the higher profile Fox News face Gretchen Carlson that Holder felt she could come forward. Before she gave more specifics about what happened, she was offered $300,000 in severance. Once the details emerged, Cortes was fired and the company reached the much higher settlement with Holder. In an email to the Times, she wrote, “I worked hard and loved my job but I could not be speechless. I had to turn my fear into courage.”
“Moving forward, I hope that my ‘toxicity’ has transformed into authenticity and that my career is not over,” Holder continued, “I hope that every man, woman, and child who has been sexually assaulted, or a victim of any crime for that matter, comes to the realization that they have not done anything wrong; they are not toxic.”
Holder left Fox News when her contract expired in January.