Former Host Andrea Tantaros Hopes to Bring 'Accountability' to Fox News

Andrea Tantaros said Fox News "has plenty of money" but no "accountability."

ByABC News
October 4, 2016, 8:16 AM

— -- Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros hopes to bring “accountability” to the network, which is at the center of allegations of sexual misconduct, she said today on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”

“Fox News has plenty of money. They’ve bought off a lot of women. What they don’t have is accountability,” Tantaros said this morning, in an exclusive appearance to explain her speaking out.

Her comments and television appearance are likely to bring renewed scrutiny to the accusations, which Fox News and its deposed chief, Roger Ailes, had hoped to put behind them.

Both parties have denied wrongdoing.

In August, Tantaros joined other female Fox News personalities to allege abusive behavior at the company when she filed a lawsuit claiming that the network “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion–like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”

In court filings responding to the suit, Fox News said that Tantaros “is not a victim; she is an opportunist” and that her “unverified” lawsuit “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe.’”

Tantaros told “GMA” today that “Ailes sexually harassed me numerous times. I was walking to a taping once and just said simply hello to him, and he said, ‘We need to get you a tighter dress.’”

Today she reiterated a claim made in her lawsuit that Fox News used the publication of her book to attempt to silence her.

In her lawsuit, she alleged that she was taken off the air this spring “based upon the outrageously false and pretextual claim that Tantaros’ still unpublished book had been written in violation of Fox News’ rules for books authored by Fox News employees.”

At the time, a Fox News representative said, “Issues have arisen regarding Andrea’s contract, and Fox News Channel has determined it best that she take some time off. She is still under contract with the network.”

Asked this morning why she thanked Ailes, who was head of the network at the time, in the book, Tantaros, 37, said, “You had to thank Roger Ailes or your book didn’t get published.”

“You’ll notice, it’s the most carefully crafted non–thank you,” she said. “You had to do that … to get your book published.”

Tantaros also said that settling the lawsuit would require her to, among other things, renounce her sexual harassment complaints and pledge silence. She said she was not comfortable agreeing to those conditions.

Late last month her therapist came out in defense of her former patient, vouching that Tantaros talked about the alleged misconduct during sessions in 2014 and 2015.

Fox News has stood by its call to move the dispute out of court and into private arbitration.

Ailes, the legendary news executive who created Fox News in the 1990s and left the network on July 21, has denied allegations of sexual misconduct brought by Tantaros and others.

An email sent to Ailes’ lawyer, Susan Estrich, offering the chance to respond to Tantaros’ comments on “Good Morning America” has not received a response.

In making her allegations in August, Tantaros joined a handful of female former Fox News hosts who alleged sexually explicit and abusive behavior at the network. The most prominent other host making similar allegations was Gretchen Carlson, whose lawsuit was filed in July, shortly after she left the network after 11 years.

Carlson alleged that Ailes “sabotaged” her career after she “refused his sexual advances” and that her job was terminated in retaliation for rebuffing him and complaining to him about sexual harassment.

Fox News and Ailes denied her allegations, calling it a “retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract” because of “disappointingly low ratings.”

In early September, Fox News and Carlson settled their dispute. A source familiar with the deal told ABC News that the settlement was valued at $20 million.

Shortly before Ailes’ resignation, New York magazine published a story citing unnamed sources who claimed that another Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, “told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances towards her about [10] years ago.”

In response to that story, Estrich told ABC News that Ailes “never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly.”

ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.