A former Fox News contributor who reached a $2.5 million settlement with the network after alleging sexual assault on Sunday said she broke the terms of her confidentiality agreement in order to return fire on Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch.
“I want to be very clear here. 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,” former Fox News contributor Tamara Holder told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources.”
Holder was referring to comments made last week by Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch in a Sky News interview, in which he appeared to dismiss sexual misconduct allegations against various men at Fox News.Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox, in defending Murdoch’s comments, noted that it has responded with serious consequences to sexual harassment allegations. Fox News previously ousted former anchor Bill O’Reilly and the late CEO Roger Ailes amid allegations of sexual harassment against them.
“It’s all nonsense,” Murdoch said in the interview. “There was a problem with our chief executive. Sort of. Over the years. But isolated incidents.”
He added, “That was largely political because we are conservative.”
Holder pushed back on the claim that women who made sexual harassment accusations were “political” on Sunday.
“If this is political, then let’s take these cases to trial. I’m down. Let’s open it up. You’re the ones who wanted to settle. You’re the ones who wanted us to be quiet,” she said.
Stelter went on to ask Holder if she thought Fox News would sue as a result of her taking part in the interview.
“I’m in violation of the contract except for the fact that I legally have a right to respond if I am disparaged or defamed,” she said. “What Mr. Murdoch said, in my opinion as a lawyer, not as a victim or a survivor, is that this gives me a legal right to respond.”
Holder’s comments come after The New York Times reported in March that Holder and Fox News had reached a settlement of more than $2.5 million after she accused an executive there of sexual assault.
Holder is one of many women across the country who have stepped forward to accuse various powerful men of sexual misconduct.