Fox News is a “sex-fuelled, Playboy Mansion-like cult,” ex-presenter Andrea Tantaros has claimed in a lawsuit against her former employer.
The New York Times reports that Tantaros launched legal proceedings against Fox News on Monday, accusing the news network of punishing her for complaining about sexual harassment by former chief executive Roger Ailes.
Fox News told The New York Times that it would not comment pending legal proceedings.
Business Insider has contacted Fox News by email for comment on the allegations.
In May, the network’s lawyers claimed that Tantaros fabricated the sexual harassment claims to gain leverage in a contract dispute, centering on her decision to publish her book — ” Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What They Wanted Has Made Women Miserable” — without consent.
Her lawsuit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, does not pull its punches.
“Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fuelled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,” the documents claim.
It argues that Ailes, who stepped down last month after being overrun by accusations of sexual abuse, “did not act alone” and his actions were “condoned by his most senior lieutenants.”
Tantaros, who used to co-host “The Five” and vanished from the screen in April, claims that she was repeatedly told not to wear trousers, so Ailes could see her legs, according to the suit. She was also asked by Ailes to turn around so “so I can get a good look at you,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit also accuses Fox News of setting up fake Twitter accounts, known as “sock puppets,” to harass her online.
Tantaros’ action follows Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Ailes last month. Carslon’s lawyers also claim that more than 10 other women have come forward with claims against the former Fox News boss, who has so far denied all allegations against him.
Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine writer and Ailes’ biographer, suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that Tantaros’ lawsuit will be followed by others.