Suspended Host's Lawsuit Casts Shadow Over Fox News' New President : The Two-Way Suspended Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has accused former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes of sexually harassing her. She says Ailes' former chief deputy, Bill Shine, acted to shut down her complaints.
NPR logo

Suspended Host's Lawsuit Casts Shadow Over Fox News' New President

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/495766439/495817044" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Suspended Host's Lawsuit Casts Shadow Over Fox News' New President

Suspended Host's Lawsuit Casts Shadow Over Fox News' New President

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/495766439/495817044" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A sprawling sexual harassment scandal cost Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and a group of his associates their jobs. Well, now there's a shadow over the conduct of the channel's newly elevated co-president. That's because of new filings in a lawsuit from suspended Fox News host Andrea Tantaros. NPR's David Folkenflik reports.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Andrea Tantaros was always memorable on Fox News, an acerbic conservative on such shows as "Outnumbered" and "The Five."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDREA TANTAROS: After decades and decades of feminists burning their bras, saying, make more money than men; run over men; have sex like a man; don't let them open the door...

FOLKENFLIK: Ailes paid $40 million to leave after a lawsuit in July uncorked a wave of allegations. Tantaros filed her own lawsuit in August, saying Ailes repeatedly sexually harassed her. She sued his former chief deputy, Bill Shine, and other executives, too. Tantaros's attorney Judd Burstein...

JUDD BURSTEIN: Fox News and his parent have been trying to peddle a story that the atmosphere and the culture of Fox has changed because Ailes was in essence a lone wolf. And that's just simply untrue.

FOLKENFLIK: Tantaros alleges she fruitlessly complained in 2015 to Shine, then an executive vice president. Fox paid $20 million to settle Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit, but its lawyers have called Tantaros an opportunist and dismissed her similar allegations. Fox says she only raised questions about Ailes and Shine as the network suspended her this year over a contractual dispute involving her book.

But a new sworn affidavit from Tantaros's former therapist states Tantaros first told her of Ailes's unwanted sexual advances in 2014. The therapist, Michele Berdy, also writes Tantaros confided Shine warned her in 2015 not to cross Ailes, to drop her complaints because he was a powerful man. Tantaros's attorney Judd Burstein...

BURSTEIN: This was not just a question of Roger Ailes privately harassing women in their office. This was a concerted team effort to allow Roger Ailes to be a sexual predator.

FOLKENFLIK: Shine was elevated this summer to co-president of Fox News. He is not commenting today. Again, Judd Burstein...

BURSTEIN: They've replaced the offender with the chief architect of the cover up, and that's not who should be running the company.

FOLKENFLIK: Fox News says the case should be resolved in private binding arbitration because it is at heart a contractual dispute. David Folkenflik, NPR News, New York.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.