Andrea Tantaros has mostly kept silent since she was taken off the air by Fox News. At the time, Fox News said that because she didn’t run her book by them first, she was taken of the air, but they kept paying her anyway and she was still under contract to them. At the time, many people believed she was let go because of her support for Donald Trump. As it turns out it was none of those things. Tantaros has opened up and blown the lid off of the culture that prev ails at Fox News.
Fox News masquerades as a 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 did make a statement shortly after Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit:
According to Tantaros’s account, Ailes began harassing her on August 12, 2014. During a meeting in Ailes’s office, Ailes allegedly asked Tantaros to do “the twirl” so he could see her figure. She refused. Then, in mid-December of that year, Ailes made another advance, Burstein says. “Ailes asked her to turn around, and then he said, ‘Come over here so I can give you a hug.’” Tantaros rebuffed the advance, Burstein says.
In February 2015, Tantaros was pulled off the 5 p.m. program The Five and demoted to working full-time on the midday show Outnumbered. In February 2015, according to Burstein, Ailes allegedly harassed Tantaros again in his office, asking about her workout routine because her body “looked good” and mentioning that she must “really look good in a bikini.”
On Monday, Tantaros filed a formal lawsuit against Fox, charging Ailes and three others, including Ailes replacement, Bill Shines with sexual harassment and the failure take action when she reported it. Not only did they not do anything about it, they took her off the air.
Tantaros’ lawyer, Judd Bernstein, claims that the network offered to pay her “in the seven figures” in exchange for her to withdraw her claims against Ailes and others. For example, as Jim Dwyer wrote inThe New York Times last night, “According to the lawsuit, Ms. Tantaros said she had been subjected to unwelcome advances from Mr. O’Reilly, whom she had regarded as a friend and adviser.”
The lawsuit continues, “Ailes did not act alone. He may have been the primary culprit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants, who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation and retaliation.”
After months of inextricable silence with no evidence of her whereabouts, it would appear as if Tantaros is back quite literally with a vengeance, making claims about the network that may seem stunning to many. For instance, she alleges that Fox News would be involved with “sock puppets,” or fake Twitter accounts with the intent of criticizing her. We may never know the full extent of what happened to cause her immediate departure in late April, but the revelations Monday night help shine a light on what was a mystery of sorts in the world of cable for months: how a popular network talent could disappear without a trace.