Andrea Tantaros, former host of Fox News’ The Five and Outnumbered, is making new allegations of sexual impropriety at the network, according to a new filing that hopes to continue her lawsuit against them.
Tantaros was let go from Fox News in 2016 over a contract dispute, although there were reports the network was also unhappy over her book, which she was promoting at the time. She then filed a $30 million lawsuit against the network, saying former boss Roger Ailes sexually harassed her, and complaining of a toxic work environment.
“Fox News masquerades as 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 initially argued in a court filing after she was let go.
Tantaros’ lawsuit ran into problems when her attorneys quit her lawsuit two different times. She is now representing herself and filing new motions, while making a disturbing new claim, that Roger Ailes and Fox News secretly recorded her and other female employees while dressing at work.
There appears to be no real evidence of this, but it makes for easy pickings for the media to hit Fox News with.
Andrea Tantaros, the former Fox News star, is aiming to move forward in a lawsuit that alleges her former employer electronically surveilled and harassed her. In a proposed amended complaint filed Monday, she includes new allegations, such as how Fox News had a closed-circuit television network that allowed its former chief Roger Ailes to monitor offices, including ones where most Fox female talent disrobed daily.
“There was also a bi-annual trunk show in the Spring and Fall conducted by Fox’s wardrobe department,” states the amended complaint. “The trunk show was held in empty Fox offices and female talent was expected to disrobe down to their undergarments to try on new on-air dresses for the next season, without even the benefit of a curtain. The dresses were pre-selected for the women by the wardrobe department before their arrival; pants were not an option. Upon information and belief, Ailes was recording female employees disrobe without their consent in their offices and during the bi-annual trunk show.”
The amended complaint is the latest in a nine-month-old lawsuit with messy origins.
In New York state court, Tantaros first sued for alleged retaliation in August 2016. But a judge then ruled her complaint alleging the network “operated like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” was covered under the arbitration clause of her employment contract. So Tantaros next tried in April 2017 a second lawsuit in federal court alleging she was victim to torturing via hacking and social media stalking. At the time, she was represented by attorney Judd Burstein, who is now facing the possibility of sanctions after filing a complaint that included word of social media “sock-puppet” accounts that Fox characterized as an “outright hoax.”
In the last few months, Tantaros has been represented by new attorneys at Morgan Lewis, who were threatened by Fox News for participating in the case.
On Monday, Morgan Lewis attorney Christopher Parlo told the judge in a letter that the firm will no longer be Tantaros’ counsel but is nevertheless assisting her in the transition to representing herself. Tantaros, now operating pro se, is seeking the judge’s permission for an amended complaint.
The complaint, attached as an exhibit (seen in full below), puts heavy emphasis on “The Black Room,” the notorious surveillance operation that Ailes established. It’s been written about extensively in the media, and Tantaros quotes some of the reporting. She also includes some new word about the scope of the federal investigation of Fox, which The Hollywood Reporter first revealed.
The amended lawsuit then goes into the way she — and others — were allegedly physically surveilled by Ailes’ Fox News before tackling again the topic of “fake websites, sock puppetry and digital hit men.”
Fox News responds that it has “moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn. None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself. Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”