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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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
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