Andrea Tantaros, the former co-host of Fox News‘ The Five and Outnumbered, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes and other Fox News executives in August 2016. In April 2017, she filed another lawsuit, alleging that Ailes set up a harassment campaign targeting her, even sending her threats using fake social media accounts.
Tantaros claimed in the August lawsuit that she faced retaliation for complaining about inappropriate behavior from Ailes and other Fox News employees, which is why she was moved from The Five to the lower-rated Outnumbered. She hasn’t been seen on the network since April 25, just before her book Tied Up in Knots, was released. Her disputes with the network began in February, when the network claimed that she didn’t tell executives about her book, as required to according to her contract.
In the April 2017 lawsuit, which was first reported on by the New York Daily News, Tantaros claimed that Ailes and other senior executives used fake social media accounts to send her threatening and creepy messages.
“This lawsuit focuses on the countless violations of federal criminal law engaged in by the defendants — much of it after Ms. Tantaros was fired by Fox News — to emotionally torture Ms. Tantaros into submission,” the lawsuit reads.
“The Murdochs’ reaction to these revelations will show whether they are serious in reforming Fox News,” Judd Burstein, Tantaros’ lawyer, told the Daily News. “The fact that they gave Ailes and O’Reilly $65 million in sexual predator bonuses makes me concerned that they were merely trying to cut out two tumors in the hope that the cancer had not metastasized. They need to realize that triage is no longer a realistic option.”
Here’s a look at Tantaros’ life and career.
1. Tantaros Has Two Older Siblings & a Younger Brother Who Died at Age 31
Tantaros’ parents are Konstantinos and Barbara Tantaros. She has two older siblings, Thea and Dean. She also had a younger brother named Daniel, who died in 2013. He was only 31 years old.
In her eulogy, Tantaros only revealed that Daniel was “special needs,” adding that, “But to anyone who knew him, the way to appropriately describe [him] is ‘uniquely special.'”
“Dan never said a bad word about anyone, hurt anyone’s feelings, or offended anyone. He is a better person than I am. Than any of us,” Tantaros said. “When most people die, you ask God to forgive them for their sins. But in Dan’s case, there is nothing to forgive him for. He was pure, and innocent and gentle; just being in his presence was calming.”
In the end, she wrote, “Though I’m very sad for us, I’m really happy for him. Life will never be the same. And though we will miss him everyday. We rejoice in his freedom. And to God who gave it to him by taking him home.”
2. Tantaros Was Reportedly Dating Jane’s Addiction Guitarist Dave Navarro
Tantaros is not married, but Us Weekly reported in April 2015 that the 37-year-old was dating Dave Navarro, the guitarist for Jane’s Addiction who was previously married to model Carmen Electra.
It’s not clear if they are still dating, but he praised the cover of her new book on Twitter:
Tantaros speculated last year about the rise of non-married couples living together, suggesting that women have encouraged “to give it up freely with the rise of feminism, have sex like a man,” adding, “So, they’re doing this and they’re not making the guy step up to put a ring on it.”
3. Tantaros Wrote an Op-Ed Offering Donald Trump Advice to Connect With Women
Tantaros hasn’t stayed quiet since Fox News dropped her. On June 1, she penned an op-ed for The Week, in which she offered Donald Trump advice on how to connect with women voters.
She suggested that Trump remind voters about Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, try to connect with Midwestern suburban women, show voters how much he really loves women instead of just talking about it and have daughter Ivanka Trump show up more often at events.
If Trump is going to win the White House, he’s going to need the help of women. Throughout his life, Trump has prided himself on women relying on him. Now, in a twist of political irony, it’s Trump relying on them.
4. Before Joining Fox News, She Was Press Secretary for House Republicans
According to Tantaros’ Fox News bio, prior to joining the network, she was press secretary for the House Republican leadership and deputy press secretary for Congressman Patrick Toomey. She also worked as communications director for former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld when he was running for New York Governor.
She is a Leigh University graduate with a B.A. in journalism and French. Her other work includes the radio show 2012-2013 radio show The Andrea Tantaros Show and a column for The New York Daily News. She was also communications director for Jeannine Pirro, who unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican nomination to run against Hillary Clinton for the New York Senate seat in 2006.
“After a while it gets hard to be the voice for somebody else,” Tantaros told HNGN. “What I liked about my job was protecting my boss and sort of circling the wagons and being very loyal. But after a while you think, ‘You know, I want to express my own position.'”
5. She Claimed Fox News ‘Operates Like a Sex-Fueled, Playboy Mansion-Like Cult’ in Her Lawsuit
Even though she hasn’t been on Fox News for nearly five months, she claims in the lawsuit against Ailes and other Fox News executives that she is still being paid by the network “in the hope that the fear of losing her income will keep her quiet.”
Tantaros claims in the lawsuit that “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” She lists several examples of sexual harassment by Ailes, including an allegation that he told her to “turn around so I can get a good look at you.” He also once allegedly told her, “I bet you look good in a bikini.”
She says that she was only removed from the popular and highly-rated The Five in retaliation for her complaints to Fox New executives. The network, though, claimed that Tantaros never told them about the incidents with Ailes, only about incidents with other employees. The network also said that it conducted an investigation, but Tantaros’ lawyer disputes that.
When Tantaros went off the air, sources told TVNewser that it was because of “issues” with her contract.
UPDATE: On August 29, Fox News responded with its own filing, calling Tantaros an “opportunist” who was suspended because of her breach of contract when she published her book without prior approval from the company.
UPDATE: Tantaros went on Good Morning America on October 4 and said that she hopes to bring “accountability” to Fox News.
“Fox News has plenty of money. They’ve bought off a lot of women. What they don’t have is accountability,” Tantaros said. She later added, “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.”
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