It has been a long past few months for Fox News, which has seen a lot of change-ups occur on the network as anchors and even key people behind-the-scenes have left the network. Among these shake-ups was the exit of Roger Ailes, who resigned from the company after dealing with a few sexual harassment allegations. After doing an internal investigation, recently Fox News reached a $2.5 million settlement with Tamara N. Holder, who was reportedly sexually assaulted during her time with the news network.
The former Fox News contributor says she was working for the company back in 2015 when she was told to perform oral sex on network executive Francisco Cortes, who at the time was the president for Fox News Latino. She says she was with the executive alone in his office, although the New York Times mentions that she was able to get out before being forced into the sexual act. The executive was ousted after an investigation into what happened.
According to the former news contributor, Francisco Cortes actually poured tequila for Holder. He then reportedly pulled out his penis and held the door shut with his left hand while trying to push Holder down with his right hand. Tamara N. Holder says she was able to escape the room. The event happened in February of 2015 and Tamara N. Holder detailed what happened in September of 2016, as other allegations at Fox News were coming out.
On Fox News' end, Holder has stated that once she did come forward and make the complaint, the news network reacted quickly and "promptly investigated the matter," which seems to indicate she believes the overall company handled the issue adequately.
Tamara N. Holder isn't the only person to make complaints about the work culture at Fox News and to earn a settlement in the wake of those reports. However, Holder's encounter details an assault, whereas other complaints have detailed harassment at other news executives and personalities. The largest of these has been the settlement related to the lawsuit Gretchen Carlson filed against Fox News, alleging that former bigwig Roger Ailes sexually harassed her. That settlement earned her $20 million. On his side, Roger Ailes has denied sexually harassing Gretchen Carlson.
It's unclear if this will be the last of the settlements that Fox News reaches, but we'll let you know every step of the way if any other allegations move forward. This week's report also indicates that Fox News is currently dealing with a separate investigation related to how the network has been giving out payouts related to these lawsuits. That potential separate case is being looked at by the United States Attorney's Office. That could get interesting any day now, as well. For now, take a look at what TV has coming up with our midseason premiere schedule.
Here's what Fox News and Tamara Holder said in a joint statement.
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. Following the completion of her contract on January 1, 2017, Ms. Holder left the network. Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success.