A former Fox News contributor who left the network after she reported being sexually assaulted claims that media mogul and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch ‘ruined my life’.
Tamara Holder told CNN on Sunday that she didn’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.’
‘He ruined my life,’ she added.
She was speaking after the 86-year-old appeared to dismiss the sexual abuse allegations at his network as ‘nonsense.’
Former Fox News contributor Tamara Holder, who left the network after she reported being sexually assaulted, claims that media mogul and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch (right) ‘ruined my life’
‘That is not nonsense. This is people’s lives,’ she added.
Murdoch was being asked whether the harassment allegations had hurt business last week, when he told Sky News, a UK-based network owned by 21st Century Fox, ‘It’s all nonsense.’
He laid the blame solely at the feet of former CEO Roger Ailes who stepped down last year after at least 20 women accused him of sexual harassment.
‘There was a problem with our chief executive. Sort of, over the years. But isolated incidents. As soon as we investigated it he was out of the place in hours — well, three or four days. And there’s been nothing else since then,’ he said.
But Murdoch failed to mention Bill O’Reilly, who was fired from the network in the spring after the New York Times revealed he’d paid out millions of dollars in sexual harassment settlements.
Murdoch was being asked whether the harassment allegations had hurt business last week, when he told Sky News, a UK-based network owned by 21st Century Fox, ‘It’s all nonsense’
Nor did he mention Francisco Cortes, the vice president of Fox News Latino, who was fired earlier this year after Holder accused him of trying to force her into performing oral sex on him when the two were alone in his office according to four individuals with knowledge of the situation who spoke with The New York Times.
Murdoch also said that while some cases were ‘really bad’ and ‘people should be moved aside… There are other things — which probably amount to a bit of flirting’.
Holder was infuriated by the comments.
‘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 are no gray areas. This is criminal. And I’m not the only case. There are women who can’t speak out,’ she said.
Holder and 21st Century Fox reportedly worked out a deal in February that awarded the lawyer and author $2.5million following an incident that allegedly occurred two years ago.
Sexual assault allegations: Fox News contributor Tamara Holder (above) reached a $2.5million settlement with 21st Century Fox in February after accusing an executive of sexual assault
Bombshell claim: Holder, 37, approached Fox News’ head lawyer Dianne Brandi in September 2016 and alleged that Francisco Cortes (above) tried to force her to perform oral sex in his office
‘They’ll probably sue me (for speaking out),’ she said. ‘My agreement said I couldn’t ever apply for a job at any Fox News corporation. I can’t apply for a job because he allowed me to be abused in his workplace? And didn’t protect me? And I can’t work anywhere now? … It’s just pain on top of pain and then for him to say something like that that’s just so dismissive.’
She added that she felt that Murdoch’s comments may have allowed her to break her contract – which allows exceptions if she is disparaged or defamed.
Murdoch’s team have already attempted to backtrack on his comments, releasing a statement on Saturday which said that the ‘nonsense’ the media mogul was referring to was the idea that the sexual harassment allegations had hurt business.
‘Rupert never characterized the sexual harassment matters at Fox News as ‘nonsense,’ a spokeswoman said.. ‘Rather, he responded negatively to the suggestion that sexual harassment issues were an obstacle to the company’s bid for the rest of Sky.’
Holder, who joined the network in 2010 and has appeared on Hannity and guest hosted The Five, approached Fox News’ executive vice president for business and legal affairs Dianne Brandi back in September 2016 and alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Cortes.
Fear: The alleged incident occurred in February 2015, but Holder stated she had been afraid to come forward over possible repercussions to her career (Holder above in July 2016 with Bo Dietl and Mark Simone)
United front:: Fox News and Holder announced the settlement in a joint statement that was released on Wednesday (Holder above in May 2016 with Sid Rosenberg)
She alleged that Cortes, the vice president of Fox News Latino, tried to force her into performing oral sex on him when the two were alone in his office according to four individuals with knowledge of the situation who spoke with The New York Times.
Holder, 37, said she waited so long to come forward because she was afraid she would lose her job.
In addition to paying out millions, the network also terminated Cortes, who in 2004 was personally selected by Roger Ailes as the first member of the disgraced CEO’s apprentice program.
Fox News and Holder released a joint statement in March about the settlement.
‘In September 2016 Fox News contributor Tamara Holder reported an incident of sexual assault at Fox News headquarters from the prior year,’ read the statement.
‘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.’
Cortes did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com, but his lawyer Jay Sanchez said he was ‘presently considering Mr. Cortes’ legal options.’
Keeping quiet: Cortes (above), the vice president of Fox News Latino, was terminated by the network and did not respond to a request for comment
Holder meanwhile applauded the network after news of the settlement broke, saying: ‘Yes, I was sexually assaulted. Immediately after I told the company where I worked about the incident, it promptly investigated the matter and took action, which I appreciate.’
She also explained why she waited so long to report the alleged incident, revealing that she had been warned that lodging a complaint could have a negative impact on her career.
‘I was told by agents and lawyers that if I opened up, I would forever be ‘toxic’ and my career would be over,’ explained Holder.
‘I worked hard and loved my job but I could not be speechless. I had to turn my fear into courage.’
Holder made the decision to come forward after Ailes exited the network back in July 2016, just three weeks after he was accused of sexually harassment in a lawsuit filed by Gretchen Carlson.