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Monday, December 09, 2019

Ex-Fox News Star Andrea Tantaros’ Therapist Confirmed Ailes’ Harassment

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against former-boss-turned-Trump-campaign-adviser Roger Ailesin August. In it, she alleged that in response to her complaints about Ailes’ sexual innuendos and unwanted advances, she was first demoted and then fired. At the time, Fox News responded by calling the suit—which came on the heels of similar allegations from female network stars including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly—“a smokescreen to obscure her violation of her employment contract” and labeled Tantaros “an opportunist” in court papers. Now the former on-air personality’s legal team says they have mental health records going back to 2014 that solidify Tantaros’ claims.

Counsel for Tantaros released a signed affidavit from her former therapist, Michele Berdy, who backs up the charges her patient has made toward Ailes and others.

“Over the course of many months (2014–2016), Andrea relayed to me on multiple occasions instances of Mr. Ailes’ demeaning and overtly predatory behavior, as well as the abusive conduct of Fox News’ public relations department.” The statement goes on to confirm that Tantaros spoke about retaliatory actions taken by various Fox News staffers after she spoke up about Ailes’ behavior. It also notes that Berdy came forward on her own.

“I also want to make clear that Andrea did not reach out to me about her present case against Fox News,” it reads, in a tweet sent by Politico reporter Kelsey M. Sutton. “After reading about it in the media, and also reading reports that Fox News was denying her claims, I emailed Andrea to tell her that I knew that she was telling the truth because she had told me, in a therapeutic setting where she could have had no motive to lie, about the conduct of Mr. Ailes… and others at the time, or very shortly after, the harassment, retaliation, and pervasive hostile and sexualized workplace conditions took place.”

In mid-September, an attorney for Tantaros told various outlets that she had turned down a seven-figure settlement offer from Fox News to drop her case against the network.

IMAGE: Screenshot of Andrea Tantaros on Fox News Channel

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

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