Not to speak ill of the dead, but what we know about former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes’ lecherous behavior may only be the tip of the iceberg.
If former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros can be believed, the man was a Peeping Tom, as well.
Tantaros, who first brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News in August 2016, is bringing these new charges as part of an amended complaint before federal court.
Tantaros, who is now representing herself in the legal matter, said Ailes had a CCTV system that allowed him to see inside Fox News offices: “Fox offices are where most Fox female talent, including Ms. Tantaros, disrobed daily from their regular clothing into their on-air attire, sometimes multiple times a day… Upon information and belief Ailes was surreptitiously recording, both through audio and with hidden cameras, Tantaros (and others).”
She also alleged Ailes was recording a biannual trunk show organized by the wardrobe department in which all the female hosts “[disrobed] down to their undergarments to try on new on-air dresses for the next season, without even the benefit of a curtain.”
What’s more, she claims Fox News’ IT department installed spyware on her laptop, after she was told to bring it in to be reformatted for a presidential debate live tweet event.
The complaint also says a forensic investigation concluded, “Fox was using an outdated operating version of [employees’ work BlackBerrys] that enabled them to turn on the microphone and camera of the device at will without the knowledge or consent of the person who had the Blackberry in his or her possession.”
She says she continues to be the target of “Black Room operations,” including physical surveillance from the network, referencing a 2016 New York Magazine article that detailed how Ailes reportedly set up a “Black Room” operation around 2011 “to conduct PR and surveillance campaigns against people he targeted, both inside and outside the company.”
Fox News is, of course, denying all charges.
“Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn. None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself,” the network said. “Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”
After New York state court found in favor of Fox News in the first case, stating that an arbitration clause in her employment contract covered her complaint, Tantaros brought a second lawsuit to federal court in April 2017.
Tantaros is but one in a long list of female Fox News employees to bring sexual harassment lawsuits against Fox News. Just for Ailes, over $40 million has been paid out to settle those suits.
Also, as part of the investigations into sexual harassment claims with the network, the Justice Department has opened an investigation into mail and wire fraud.