Former Fox News star Andrea Tantaros is alleging that the network's former chair and CEO, Roger Ailes, secretly watched female hosts changing clothes on company surveillance equipment and that the conservative channel spied on employees' electronic devices.
Tantaros made the claims in a proposed amended complaint she filed in US District Court on Monday as part of a nine-month lawsuit against her former employer.
Tantaros, who is now representing herself in the legal matter, said Ailes had a CCTV system that allowed him to see inside Fox News offices: "Fox offices are where most Fox female talent, including Ms. Tantaros, disrobed daily from their regular clothing into their on-air attire, sometimes multiple times a day... Upon information and belief Ailes was surreptitiously recording, both through audio and with hidden cameras, Tantaros (and others)."
She also alleged Ailes was recording a biannual trunk show organized by the wardrobe department in which all the female hosts "[disrobed] down to their undergarments to try on new on-air dresses for the next season, without even the benefit of a curtain."
Tantaros alleged in 2016 that Ailes sexually harassed her and made comments about her appearance.
Fox News said in a statement on Tuesday her claims were "outlandish" and "lack any factual basis."
“Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn. None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself," the network said. "Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”
In her proposed complaint Monday, the former cohost of The Five alleged spyware was installed on her personal laptop when she was told to bring it in to the company's IT team to ensure that it was “formatted properly” for a presidential debate Live Tweet session.
The complaint also says a forensic investigation concluded, "Fox was using an outdated operating version of [employees' work BlackBerrys] that enabled them to turn on the microphone and camera of the device at will without the knowledge or consent of the person who had the Blackberry in his or her possession."
She says she continues to be the target of "Black Room operations," including physical surveillance from the network, referencing a 2016 New York Magazine article that detailed how Ailes reportedly set up a "Black Room" operation around 2011 "to conduct PR and surveillance campaigns against people he targeted, both inside and outside the company."
Tantaros first sued Fox News in New York state court back in August 2016, but a judge ruled in favor of the network, saying the arbitration clause of her employment contract covered her complaint. In April 2017, Tantaros brought a second lawsuit to federal court.
Fox News is also being investigated by the Justice Department.
You can read the full proposed amended complaint here:
Krystie Yandoli is an entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Krystie Lee Yandoli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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