Last year, Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News while alleging sexual harassment by then-CEO Roger Ailes, who she secretly recorded for a year while capturing conversations full of lewd suggestions towards her. Carlson walked away with a $20 million settlement, and Ailes was given the golden-parachute boot after several other women made similar accusations. Now, former contributor Tamara Holder has reportedly settled with the cable news network via a report from the New York Times.
Holder (who left the network in January 2017 when her contract expired) received a settlement greater than $2.5 million following allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a network executive in February 2015 while at work. She accused the executive of cornering her in his office “to force her to perform oral sex on him.” She documented her claims, although she was afraid of losing her job, so she didn’t report anything to the police, and she didn’t tell Fox News until September 2016. Following an investigation by the network, they fired VP of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes.
On Wednesday, Fox News released a joint statement with Holder:
“Immediately after Ms. Holder notified Fox News of the alleged incident, the company promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network. Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success.”
Holder confirmed the network’s swift action in an email to the NY Times:
“Yes, I was sexually assaulted. Immediately after I told the company where I worked about the incident, it promptly investigated the matter and took action, which I appreciate.”
Recently, Fox News has issued multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations from women who have worked at the network. In addition to Holder and Carlson’s cases, the network settled claims made against Bill O’Reilly by former host Juliet Huddy.
Currently outstanding allegations against Fox News include those made by former on-air personality Andrea Tantaros, who alleged sexual harassment claims against Ailes and O’Reilly, who she says asked her to visit Long Island with him, so he could see her “wild side.” Tantaros claims she was taken off the air for her allegations against Ailes. She has since stated that Fox News “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult.”
Oh, and Tantaro’s lawyer claims that Fox News is being investigated by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office under possible securities fraud for structuring settlement claims as salaries, “so as not to have to report them.” What a gigantic mess, but it sounds like — at least in Holder’s case — Fox News worked to quickly terminate the network executive after Holder’s claims and settled up with her fairly quickly.
(Via New York Times)