Tantaros is alleging that the host of the right-wing show The O’Reilly Factor tried to coax her into a "very private" meeting on Long Island where he could see Tantaros’s “wild side,” a personality trait O’Reilly indicated that he was convinced she would display.
According to the suit:
"[C]ommencing in February 2016, Bill O’Reilly (“O’Reilly”), whom Tantaros had considered to be a good friend and a person from whom she sought career guidance, started sexually harassing her by, inter alia, (a) asking her to come to stay with him on Long Island where it would be ‘very private,’ and (b) telling her on more than one occasion that he could “see [her] as a ‘wild girl,’ and that he believed that she had a ‘wild side.’ Fox News did take one action: plainly because of O’Reilly’s rumored prior sexual harassment issues and in recognition of Tantaros’s complaints, Brandi informed Cane that Tantaros would no longer be appearing on O’Reilly’s Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor."
The prior issues mentioned refer to the 2004 lawsuit leveled against O’Reilly by former Fox producer Andrea Mackris. Mackris alleged that O’Reilly, "repeatedly subjected her to sexual harassment through dinner and phone conversations variously described as lewd, lascivious, vile and threatening." Tantaros also claimed that O’Reilly once tried to lure her to his hotel room.
O’Reilly reportedly settled the suit for millions.
Tantaros’ suit also claims that Fox News executive Bill Shine was aware of the harassment and told her to keep quiet about it. Shine, who will replace Ailes as the head of Fox News, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
"Perhaps the most shocking encounter of all was a Spring 2015 meeting between Tantaros and Fox News Senior Executive, Defendant William Shine ('Shine'), during which Tantaros sought relief from Ailes’s sexual harassment… In response, Shine told Tantaros that Ailes was a 'very powerful man' and that Tantaros 'needed to let this one go.' Yet, after Ailes was revealed to be a sexual predator and forced to resign, Shine was promoted to Co-President of Fox News. Shine’s inexplicable elevation sends the message that it will be 'business as usual' at Fox News when it comes to the treatment of women."
The suit also claims that Tantaros, after complaining to Shine and others at the network, was punished by being pulled from the air. The conservative network offered to pay her through the length of her contract term, but only if she granted legal releases to O’Reilly, Ailes and others. She would also be disallowed from discussing her experiences at Fox News in perpetuity.
Tantaros’ complaints also detail a conversation with Ailes in which the executive allegedly asked inappropriate questions and made comments about the relationships and sexual orientation of people working at the network. In that conversation Ailes instructed Tantaros to turn around so he "can get a good look at you," and called Fox host and analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle a "Puerto Rican whore."
The suit is seeking a damages of at least $40 million for sexual harassment, mental anguish and lost wages.