Former Fox News contributor Tamara Holder let loose this morning in response to Rupert Murdoch‘s comments about the sexual harassment scandals at Fox News.
Earlier this year, Fox News reached a settlement with Holder after she reported that an executive sexually assaulted her.
In a statement to The New York Times at the time, Fox News said, “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. Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success.”
Recently Murdoch was asked if the harassment claims had an impact on the business. Murdoch dismissively said that’s “nonsense” and made comments that led to a report for HuffPost by Yashar Ali about how former Fox News employees, along with women who are still at the network, are “furious” over those remarks.
Holder went on the record for that report:
“You cannot rewrite history, Mr. Murdoch. The problem was not only with your chief executive. For example, one of your former executives trapped me in his office, pulled-out his penis and shoved my head on it. That’s not ‘nonsense.’ That’s criminal.”
“The culture at Fox News won’t change until you publicly accept that it has been a breeding ground for sexual misconduct over the past two decades,” Holder said.
And she appeared on CNN this morning to talk further with Brian Stelter about the issue.
“I want to be very clear here,” she began. “I would not have been able to be sitting here to say what I’m about to say if it wasn’t for Mr. Murdoch and what he said. Because my settlement, in exchange for money, I had to agree to be quiet, except if I was disparaged or maligned, and because Mr. Murdoch said what he said, that 60 seconds has allowed me to speak out.”
“Fox News ruined people’s lives. He ruined my life. I don’t have a job in TV anymore, because the place that he has secured down like Fort Knox allowed abusive predators to prey on women who just wanted to work. That is not nonsense, this is people’s lives.”
Holder responded to “fake facts” from Murdoch and said none of this is about politics.
She told Stelter Murdoch was being remarkably dismissive in talking about “flirting”:
“Let me be clear. I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting, that was criminal. That was not sexual harassment, there were no gray areas… this is criminal. And I’m not the only case. There are just women who can’t speak out.”
Holder said at one point that Fox News would probably sue her, but again said, “what Mr. Murdoch said, in my opinion as a lawyer… gives me a legal right to respond.”
After HuffPost’s report, Mediaite received this statement from 21st Century Fox on Murdoch’s comments:
“Rupert never characterized the sexual harassment matters at FOX News as ‘nonsense.’ Rather, he responded negatively to the suggestion that sexual harassment issues were an obstacle to the Company’s bid for the rest of Sky. Under Rupert’s leadership and with his total support, the Company exited Roger Ailes, compensated numerous women who were mistreated; trained virtually all of its employees; exited its biggest star; and hired a new head of HR. By his actions, Rupert has made it abundantly clear that he understands that there were real problems at FOX News. Rupert values all of the hard-working colleagues at FOX News, and will continue to address these matters to ensure FOX News maintains its commitment to having a work environment based on the values of trust and respect.”
Holder added, “One of the other things that he did was get rid of all the women who were abused as well.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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