Fox News is on the defense after former host Andrea Tantaros accused several of the channel’s executives of sexual harassment.
Politico obtained a copy of the motion Fox filed on Monday to move her lawsuit to arbitration, which claimed the allegations Tantaros made in her lawsuit are “unverified” and contain “all the hallmarks of a ‘wannabe.'” Like former anchor Gretchen Carlson, Tantaros named former CEO Roger Ailes. But unlike Carlson, she listed other top men at the network too, including Bill O’Reilly, who has his own history of sexual harassment accusations.
Fox’s motion states:
Over the last few weeks, 21st Century Fox (Fox News’ parent company) has made clear its commitment to providing a safe and dignified workplace at Fox News: by immediately launching an investigation in which women were encouraged to report their experiences under conditions of confidentiality, and by committing to make things right with those women who were not treated with the respect that they and every employee deserve. But Tantaros is not a victim; she is an opportunist.
The motion goes on to say that the network interviewed 13 people related to her complaint, and none of them could support her claims. The network added that Tantaros herself had “great difficulty describing the alleged sexual harassment.” Additionally, it said Ailes wasn’t originally named in her complaint, but rather he was added after all of the negative publicity surrounding him and Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit came out.
Ailes’ lawyers have filed a separate motion on his behalf, according to Politico.
Fox says Tantaros is using these allegations as “a smokescreen to obscure her violation of her employment contract.” The network said her contract was suspended after she failed to follow the proper approval procedure for her book, Tied up in Knots. And Fox’s lawyer has accused Tantaros of using this lawsuit as leverage in the dispute.
Fox News has refused to comment beyond the motion filing.