Sexual Harassment “Scapegoating” Lawsuit By Ex-Fox News Latino Exec Dismissed

A $48 million lawsuit filed last summer by a former Fox News Latino VP who claimed he was used as a “scapegoat” and “Latino patsy” to demonstrate the company’s aggressive stance on sexual harassment complaints, has been dismissed.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet’s ruling (read it here) finds no merit in the plaintiffs’ claims of a web of conspiracy against Francisco Cortes, even though the scenario described was “worthy of its own Martin Scorsese thriller.” The allegedly orchestrated campaign against Cortes, the complaint maintains, stretched from New York Times reporter Emily Steel to the European pay-TV giant Sky, which Fox is bidding to control. Sweet determined that the assembled claims were “scattered around” the facts of the case but did not cohere into a legitimate complaint.

The foundation of the case was a claim by Fox News contributor Tamara Holder, who said Cortes tried to force her to have oral sex with him in February 2015 when the two were alone in his office. She didn’t report it to management until September 2016, saying that she feared doing so would ruin her career. After Fox investigated the matter, Cortes was fired.

In his 54-page suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan (read it here), Cortes “vehemently” denied Holder’s allegation, vowing to provide evidence to show that their relationship was “consensual.”

A spokesman for 21st Century Fox declined to comment on the dismissal.

J.A. Sanchez, an attorney for Cortes, could not be reached.

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