From State House News Service
A new lawsuit filed by former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros against the network and several senior executives describes an encounter with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as an example of a culture at the cable channel that tolerated sexual harassment.
Brown, a frequent contributor as a political commentator on the news network, allegedly made inappropriate comments to Tantaros last summer while on set for an appearance on “Outnumbered.” Brown called the claims “completely and totally false” in a statement to Politico on Tuesday, Aug. 23, and he was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Fox News has been roiled by claims of sexual harassment by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign after several high profile female employees came forward with complaints about their treatment at the network.
Tantaros’s lawsuit described Fox News as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” According to the complaint filed in the New York Supreme Court, Brown told Tantaros “in a suggestive manner” last August while on set that she “would be fun to go to a nightclub with.”
The host claimed Brown later “snuck up behind” her after the show as she was purchasing lunch and put his hands on her lower waist. Tantaros told Brown to stop and complained to Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, asking that Brown no longer be booked for the show, according to the suit. Brown, however, continued to be invited back as a guest on “Outnumbered.”
“Completely and totally false,” Brown told Politico about the allegations. “Firstly I don’t go to clubs, secondly I had little to any contact with Ms. Tantaros and always treated her and every other employee at FOX with professionalism. I was unaware of the matter. Thank you for bringing it up to me.”
— Matt Murphy