Andrea Tantaros just filed suit against Fox News; ‘sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion’ kicks off list of firebombs

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is suing the network for alleged retaliation against her after she complained to executives about harassment by former Fox CEO Roger Ailes.

Tantaros, who sparked rumors and questions when she disappeared from her show “Outnumbered” in April, revealed a few weeks ago that she was pulled from the air after coming forward with the 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,” the lawsuit said, according to the New York Times.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, charges that top Fox executives punished her for her complaints against Ailes who, after nearly two decades at Fox News resigned amid allegations by 20 women at the network that he had harassed them sexually.

Fox maintained that Tantaros breached her contract by writing a book without permission, and she concocted the sexual harassment claims. Attorneys for Tantaros alleged the book was used as an excuse to silence her.

Fox News offered to pay her an amount “in the seven figures” if she dropped the claims against Ailes and others at the network, including Bill O’Reilly, attorney Judd Burstein said according to the Times.

“Ailes did not act alone,” the lawsuit states. “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.”

After several encounters with Ailes, in which Tantaros was called in to his office where he made comments about her appearance and  asked her to turn around “so I can get a good look at you,” she alleges in the lawsuit that she was demoted from being a host on “The Five” to her position on “Outnumbered.” The lawsuit also alleges she was not allowed to wear pants on-air because “Roger wants to see your legs.”

Tantaros met with Bill Shine, then a senior news executive, to address Ailes’ behavior.

When asked if he had told the head of publicity for Fox News, Irena Briganti, to go after her, the lawsuit claims  Shine “told Tantaros that Briganti is like a rabid dog on a chain that we can’t control. Sometimes that dog gets off the chain.” Shine also told her that “this powerful man has faith in Irena Briganti” and that Tantaros “needs to let this one go,” according to the lawsuit, the Times reported.

Shine, who has been named a co-president of the network since Ailes’ departure, claimed Tantaros never approached him.

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Frieda Powers

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