Former Fox News contributor says Rupert Murdoch 'ruined my life'

Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor who last year accused an executive of sexual misconduct, says Fox News f...

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 10:13 AM
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 10:13 AM

Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor who last year accused an executive of sexual misconduct, says Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch "ruined my life."

"I don'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," she told CNN's Brian Stelter on "Reliable Sources" Sunday. "That is not nonsense. This is people's lives."

Holder was responding to remarks made last week by Murdoch, the chairman of 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox News.

During an interview on the UK's Sky News channel last Thursday, Murdoch appeared to brush off the sexual misconduct allegations that have vexed the network.

Related: 'Nonsense' that sexual harassment claims hurt Fox's bottom line, Murdoch says

"It's all nonsense. There was a problem with our chief executive. Sort of, over the years. But isolated incidents," Murdoch said in response to a question about whether the harassment claims have hurt Fox's business. "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."

The late Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned after anchor Gretchen Carlson sued over harassment claims last year. Host Bill O'Reilly was also forced out in April following a New York Times investigation into settlement payouts connected to other harassment allegations.

Both Ailes, who died in May, and O'Reilly denied the allegations made against them.

Other men have left Fox in connection to harassment scandals in the past year and a half.

Amid online outrage about Murdoch's dismissive tone, 21st Century Fox issued a lengthy statement on Friday. It was widely interpreted as a damage control move. The statement said Murdoch "never characterized the sexual harassment matters at FOX News as 'nonsense.'"

Related: Fox News still hounded by sexual harassment allegations

"Rather, he responded negatively to the suggestion that sexual harassment issues were an obstacle" to the company's business dealings, the company said.

"By his actions, Rupert has made it abundantly clear that he understands that there were real problems at FOX News," the statement said. "Rupert values all of the hard-working colleagues at FOX News, and will continue to address these matters to ensure FOX News maintains its commitment to having a work environment based on the values of trust and respect."

Asked again for comment Sunday, the company directed CNNMoney to its earlier statement.

Holder, a lawyer who said she left her practice to work at Fox News, departed the network after she accused another Fox News executive of sexual misconduct.

The alleged incident was said to have happened in 2015 and involved Francisco Cortes, the former vice president for Fox News Latino. Holder reported her claims to the company in September. Cortes was fired, two sources told CNNMoney earlier this year.

Related: How Fox News and President Trump create an anti-Mueller 'feedback loop'

An attorney for Cortes said in March that he was "considering Mr. Cortes' legal options." CNNMoney attempted Sunday to reach the attorney for comment.

21st Century Fox agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to Holder, the two sources told CNNMoney in March.

Holder said Sunday that she accepted a payout in exchange for an agreement to not speak about the incident, and to never apply to work at a Fox-owned business.

On Sunday, Holder also dismissed another comment Murdoch made during his Sky News interview, when he name dropped networks that are dealing with sexual harassment scandals of their own.

"NBC is in deep trouble. CBS, their stars," he said in the interview. "I mean there are really bad cases that people should be moved aside and there are other which might've been a bit of flirting."

"Let me be clear," Holder said, "I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting, that was criminal."

Holder said the network will "probably" sue her for appearing on CNN. But she also said a clause in her settlement allowed her to break her silence if she was "disparaged or maligned."

"What Mr. Murdoch said, in my opinion as a lawyer, not as a victim or a survivor, as a lawyer, is that this gives me a legal right to respond," she said. "And I'm responding not for myself, but on behalf of every woman in America who has been abused."

--CNNMoney Hadas Gold contributed to this story.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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