Fox News used fake social media accounts to harass ex-host Andrea Tantaros, lawsuit claims
Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said in a lawsuit Monday she believes network operatives used bogus social media accounts to torture her after she complained about sexual harassment.
She also said she believes someone hacked her computer and phone.
Tantaros’ attorney, Judd Burstein, filed the suit in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit doesn’t offer hard evidence that Fox was behind harassing tweets.
It says an analysis revealed surveillance software on her computer, but not who put it there, and it hopes to use the court’s power to reveal who was behind the harassment. The lawsuit claims Tantaros was viewed as a threat by Fox executives after she declined an offer of more than US$1 million to remain silent.
The lawsuit says Tantaros suspected her emails and telephone conversations were being monitored after she revealed personal information in calls or emails that were then referenced by others in cruel social media posts.
A law firm, Dechert LLP, representing Fox, said in a statement that the network and its executives “flatly deny that they conducted any electronic surveillance” and have no knowledge of the harassing tweets.
“This lawsuit is a flimsy pretext to keep Ms Tantaros and her sexual harassment claims in the public eye after the State Supreme Court directed her to bring them in arbitration,” it added.
Last August, Tantaros sued the network, its ousted chairman, and other top executives, claiming they retaliated after she detailed unwanted sexual advances made by her onetime boss, Roger Ailes. Burstein argued that it should be argued in open court, but a Manhattan state judge ruled in February it should be resolved in a closed-door arbitration.
Tantaros worked as a host and political analyst for Fox News from 2011 to 2016. Former Fox News chairman Ailes left the network amid a storm of sexual harassment allegations. Top-rating host Bill O’Reilly also parted ways with the network recently after it was revealed that millions had been paid in settlements to women who accused him of sexual harassment.