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Court dismisses former host Andrea Tantaros' claims that Fox News spied on her

Court dismisses former host Andrea Tantaros' claims that Fox News spied on her
Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros at a Glamour magazine event in New York in 2001. (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros’ claims that her bosses hacked her emails, listened to private voice messages and secretly videotaped her at work were dismissed Friday by a federal judge.

U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels ruled Tantaros failed to provide any evidence to back her allegations that she was surveilled by Fox News executives in retaliation for making sexual harassment complaints against them.

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The ruling also dismissed Tantaros’ claim that Fox News and its executives tried to intentionally inflict emotional distress through their actions.

Tantaros, former co-host of the Fox News programs “The Five” and “Outnumbered,” filed the surveillance claims against the network and several of its top executives in April 2017.

The claim came after a state Supreme Court judge moved that her sexual harassment suit against Fox News should be brought to an arbitrator as stipulated in her contract.

In the suit filed in August 2016, Tantaros accused Fox News of taking her off the air in retaliation for making a sexual harassment complaint against the division’s former chief executive, Roger Ailes, who was ousted in July 2016 after a sexual harassment scandal that engulfed the network.

Ailes, who died in May 2017, is named in the suit along with former Fox News co-president Bill Shine.

Tantaros also accused Fox News of orchestrating a cover-up and perpetuating a corporate culture of "intimidation, indecency and misogyny" and alleged that the 21st Century Fox unit was “operated like a sex-fueled Playboy Mansion-like cult.”

Fox News said Tantaros was removed from the air after neglecting to allow the company to vet her book, “Tied Up in Knots,” before she promoted it on the air. Most Fox News hosts and anchors are contractually obligated to have their published works approved by the company.

Tantaros’ complaint was among two dozen allegations of misconduct against Ailes. The executive was forced out of the network he founded two weeks after being sued by former anchor Gretchen Carlson, who alleged he sabotaged her career after she rebuffed his sexual advances and complained about a hostile work environment. Fox News settled most of the claims, with its parent company paying $20 million to Carlson.

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