Lawsuit Brought by Ex-Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros Is Dismissed

Posted May 18, 2018 10:46 p.m. EDT

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Fox News filed by a former on-air host, Andrea Tantaros, who had alleged the network retaliated against her after she complained about being sexually harassed.

Tantaros had claimed that Fox News’s founding chairman, Roger Ailes, arranged for her to be illegally surveilled, and that the network’s executives had schemed to create fake social media accounts, known as “sock puppets,” that defamed her online.

On Friday, however, Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that Tantaros’ allegations were “based primarily on speculation and conjecture.” In dismissing the suit, the judge noted Tantaros “fails to adequately make out the basic elements of her claims.”

It was the second legal action against Fox News to conclude this week, as the network looks to move on from a series of scandals that started nearly two years ago. On Tuesday, Fox News reached a $10 million settlement to end a group of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits.

The dismissal of Tantaros’ lawsuit was a clear victory for the network, which had denied her claims. A spokeswoman for Fox News said Friday that the decision spoke for itself.

Tantaros, a former co-host of “The Five,” could not be reached for comment. She was recently reported to be representing herself in the case.

A separate lawsuit filed by Tantaros in New York state Supreme Court in 2016 alleged that Ailes harassed her, and that other Fox News executives ignored her complaints and eventually forced her off the air. Among those named in that suit was Suzanne Scott, who on Thursday was named the new chief executive of Fox News; Scott has denied all wrongdoing.

Fox News denied Tantaros’ allegations in that lawsuit and maintained that the host was let go for violating a major part of her contract: She did not receive network approval for a book she wrote, titled “Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.”

A state judge ruled in 2017 that those claims should be sent to arbitration.