Fox News just can’t catch a break.
The former number one news network has been embroiled in sexual harassment scandals since Roger Ailes was accused last year.
And now the network is involved in yet another one.
Not only was former president Roger Ailes accused and forced to resign, but Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, also had sexual harassment allegations against him, forcing him to leave as well.
And in the wake of the accusations against O’Reilly and Ailes, the entire liberal mainstream media made it seem as though a sexual predator environment was common practice over at Fox News.
But now there’s another sexual harassment allegation – which Fox News was likely trying to hide.
And considering MSNBC just beat Fox News in the ratings for the first time ever, the allegation couldn’t have come at worse time for the network.
The Hollywood Reporter reports:
“Francisco Cortes, a former vice president at Fox News Latino, says he was forced by contract to stay silent as Tamara Holder came forward to accuse him of assault.
Roger Ailes’ reign at Fox News engendered numerous discrimination and harassment claims upon 21st Century Fox, but on Tuesday, the Rupert Murdoch company got hit with a different kind of lawsuit.
This one comes from a television executive accused of sexually assaulting an on-air contributor.
Francisco Cortes, a former vice president at Fox News Latino, states in a complaint filed in New York federal court that he “served as a useful ‘scapegoat’ for Fox to demonstrate that it aggressively handles sexual harassment complaints, as part of a carefully orchestrated plan to permit the Murdochs to eliminate concerns in the U.K. regarding their $15.2 billion acquisition of Sky in the U.K., and to protect the identity and shelter the reputations of the two unknown persons who, it must be assumed, were, unlike Mr. Cortes, not Latino, and not financially insignificant to Fox.”
In March, The New York Times’ Emily Steel reported that Fox had reached a $2.5 million settlement with Tamara Holder to resolve claims that Cortes had forced himself upon her. It was added that Cortes was close to Ailes.
According to Cortes’ new $48 million lawsuit, Holder’s settlement in February included not only him but two other unnamed individuals. The deal is also said to have had a mutual non-disparagement provision.
“Nevertheless, a mere two weeks later, Tamara Holder and Fox delivered a previously planned and carefully negotiated joint statement to The New York Times regarding the allegations, in violation of their obligations,” continues the complaint.
Cortes alleges that statements to The New York Times destroyed his reputation and irreparably damaged his career opportunities.
His complaint adds: “They did this knowing that Mr. Cortes would, due to his own contractual obligations pursuant to the Tamara Holder and two unknown persons agreement, be forced to either violate those obligations, inviting litigation…or remain silent before a national/international press onslaught against him regarding the allegations, which he vehemently denies, but could not then deny via the press because his hands had been tied….”
The lawsuit makes an issue of how The New York Times didn’t disclose the identities of the other two individuals and how Steele was formerly employed by The Wall Street Journal, a publication owned by the Murdochs.
Cortes is suggesting “an intentional and well orchestrated plan” that was allegedly perpetrated in conjunction with Paul Weiss, the law firm that Fox had hired to investigate sexual harassment at its cable news network.
Cortes is suing for breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, conspiracy to defraud, tortious interference and various counts of defamation.
He is demanding actual damages in excess of $12 million and punitive damages in excess of $36 million.
21st Century Fox declined comment.”
Despite the fact this was Fox News Latino, another sexual allegation and cover up does not bode well for a news network struggling to keep their viewers.
Now, only time will tell if they have resiliency.