Fox News blasted estranged host Andrea Tantaros in a legal filing Monday afternoon, just hours after she challenged network executives to submit themselves to a lie-detector test.
“[T]antaros is not a victim; she is an opportunist,” Fox News said in a motion aimed at compelling Tantaros’ claims to arbitration.
Tantaros, who has not been on the air since April, filed a lawsuit against Fox News and several of the network’s executives last week alleging sexual harassment. In the suit, she called the company a “sex-fuelled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”
Fox News said in its Monday legal motion that her complaint was “filled with falsehoods” and that it “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe'”:
“[S]he claims now that she too was victimized by Roger Ailes, when, in fact, contrary to her pleading, she never complained of any such conduct in the course of an investigation months ago. Not to be outdone by anyone, she contends that she was sexually harassed by an ever-shifting collection of employees at Fox News; she charges that outside counsel retained by 21st Century Fox deliberately ignored her purportedly important harassment story (actually, her lawyer, Joseph C. Cane, Jr., failed to return a telephone call from the law firm, Paul Weiss, retained to conduct the investigation); and she claims retaliation even though she concedes that she has not been terminated and remains on Fox News’ payroll.”
Judd Burstein, Tantaros’ lawyer, told Business Insider in a statement that the motion “provides more corroboration of Andrea Tantaros’ truthful account of the facts.”
Tantaros’ lawyer also questioned the network’s motion to move to arbitration, asking, “[W]hy do they want this dispute to be resolved in the shadows?”
Burstein said that “an innocent person would be so outraged” of being publicly accused of something “he or she would want public vindication” and encouraged the executives to take a lie-detector test as Tantaros suggested earlier in the day.
“One can also obviously assume that I would not have offered to submit Ms. Tantaros to a lie detector test unless I was sure she would pass, and that Mr. Shine and the rest of his crew are rejecting our challenge because they know that they would fail,” Burstein said.
The lawyer also said the claim Tantaros’ legal representative did not return a phone call back to Weiss was “absolutely false.”
Tantaros’ explosive allegations came on the heels of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson. That suit ultimately led to the resignation of Roger Ailes, who had served as the network’s chief executive since its founding in 1996.
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