22:39 GMT01 August 2021
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    On Wednesday, Fox News reached a $2.5-million settlement with Tamara Holder, a former contributor who accused former Fox News Latino vice president Francisco Cortes of sexual harassment. Cortes was later fired after an investigation into the claims.

    Holder and Fox News released a joint statement about the settlement, saying, "In September 2016, Fox News contributor Tamara Holder reported an incident of sexual assault at Fox News headquarters from the prior year…Immediately after Ms. Holder notified Fox News of the alleged incident, the Company promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network." according to the New York Times. 

    The statement continued, "Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success."

    Leaving the conservative network at the top of the year, Holder, 37, did not report the harassment right away for fear of professional backlash, reporting the incident last fall and writing in an email to NYT, "Yes, I was sexually assaulted. Immediately after I told the company where I worked about the incident, it promptly investigated the matter and took action, which I appreciate." 

    According to Holder, who first joined Fox News in 2010, the incident took place in Cortes’ office at Fox News’ headquarters in midtown Manhattan, where he offered her tequila, displayed his penis, and attempted to force her to perform oral sex while blocking her from leaving. She was able to break free and flee his office. 

    The network offered Holder a $300,000 severance package after she reported the incident, but she declined and instead opted to retain a lawyer.

    Last year, Fox settled several sexual harassment suits, mostly aimed at then-CEO and Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Ailes resigned after former host Gretchen Carlson accused the executive of making sexual advances toward her and sabotaging her career after she rejected him.

    The network settled with Carlson for $20 million. Megyn Kelly and Andrea Tantaros also made similar allegations against Ailes. Not long after Ailes’ departure, another former Fox News host, Juliet Huddy, accused host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment. The matter was reportedly settled quietly.

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