(CN) – Former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros slapped her former employers at Fox and her book editor Michael Krechmer with separate federal lawsuits filed Monday and Tuesday, claiming in the Fox suit that former CEO Roger Ailes secretly filmed female talent "disrobing."
Representing herself, Tantaros filed an amendment to a complaint filed this past April in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In it, Tantaros claims Fox's former chair and CEO, Roger Ailes, used closed circuit television to secretly monitor offices at the network, including ones she and other female talent used to change clothes.
Tantaros maintains the network regularly hired private investigators to dig up dirt on her and other women who accused the network of harassment. She also claims Fox News placed malware on her personal laptop in order to access her personal information and email communications.
“Fox News operates more like a rogue political campaign and cutthroat cult rife with rampant harassment, misogyny, and bullying than it does a news organization,” Tantaros says.
“Fox News is a company that isn’t afraid to spy, hack, bully or weaponize any tool or method at its disposal,” Tantaros writes in the complaint as she takes the network to task for utilizing the internet and cyber technology as a form of retaliation and punishment against anyone who seeks to challenge what she describes as the Fox News regime.
In a statement, Fox News noted the attorney who filed Tantaros’ original complaint in August 2016 had withdrawn from the case after the network moved for sanctions against him.
“Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.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. Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis," Fox News said in a statement.
In the 2016 case, Tantaros said she was taken off air after reporting that Ailes had sexually harassed her. That case was thrown out due to an arbitration clause in her employment contract.
Her attorney at the time, Judd Burnstein, asked to withdraw as Tantaros’ counsel in September 2017. At the time Burnstein wrote, “I advise the court that I decided to withdraw as counsel for Ms. Tantaros based upon an irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.”
Tantaros’ second lawsuit in as many days, filed Tuesday in New York Supreme Court, accuses Krechmer, aka Michael Malice, of colluding with Fox News by submitting fabricated evidence in a separate lawsuit against Tantaros.
“Malice is desperate for notoriety,” Tantaros says in the complaint, which was filed on her behalf by attorney Yeshaya Larkin of Arendsen Cane Molnar in Beverly Hills, California. “He is a ‘wannabe’ television personality whose career as a comedian, writer and commentator never gained steam.”
Tantaros claims Malice acted opportunistically to gain fame above his contractual responsibilities as the editor of her book “Tied Up in Nots” and chose instead to leverage his professional relationship with her by conspiring with Fox News to ruin her well-established media reputation.
She says Malice breached a confidentiality agreement with her by funneling personal information about her and her book to employees of Fox News and private investigators hired by the network to find information to use against Tantaros and other female employees.
“Malice has also acted as a vessel for the scandal-plagued channel by filing baseless, slanderous lawsuits against Tantaros, working hand in glove with Fox News to employ their well-known, publicly documented playbook of attempting to destroy, defame and discredit any woman who formally complains about the network,” Tantaros says in the 24-page lawsuit.
She seeks damages, including punitive damages, against Malice on contract, defamation and conspiracy claims, and an injunction barring him from disclosing information about her.
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