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.