Prosecutors may be probing Fox News over Ailes sexual harassment claims

Prosecutors may be probing Fox News over Ailes sexual harassment claims
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A lawyer for a former host on Fox News said federal prosecutors issued him a subpoena in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, according to a Wednesday report. 

The Hollywood Reporter reports that, based on the subpoena claim, federal prosecutors may be investigating Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox for "quietly settling sexual harassment claims against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes without reporting it to the media giant’s shareholders."

The revelation came during a hearing surrounding former "Outnumbered" and "The Five" co-host Andrea Tantaros’s lawsuit against Fox News executives in New York Supreme Court. 

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The 38-year-old Tantaros claims that her former network had “operated like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult.”

“Once I saw it (the federal subpoena), I knew what was happening,” Tantaros's attorney, Judd Burstein, said. “They were investigating whether Fox News violated securities laws by not reporting settlements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Burstein represents Tantaros, who filed a $30 million lawsuit against Ailes in August. The former chairman resigned from the network in July 2016 after a flurry of sexual harassment allegations, including another lawsuit from former Fox host Gretchen Carlson.

Fox responded late Wednesday afternoon in a statement.

"The court granted FOX News' motion to send Andrea Tantaros' case to arbitration, where it always belonged, and rejected her counsel Judd Burstein's histrionics," the statement reads. "Apparently one of Mr. Burstein's other clients has received a subpoena. Neither FOX News nor 21CF has received a subpoena, but we have been in communication with the U.S. Attorney's office for months - we have and will continue to cooperate on all inquiries with any interested authorities."