May 18, 2018 / 10:21 PM / 7 months ago

Fox News wins dismissal of ex-anchor Tantaros' spying lawsuit

NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday dismissed former Fox News Network anchor Andrea Tantaros' lawsuit accusing the company of spying on her in retaliation for her having accused senior executives of sexual harassment.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said Tantaros' claims were "based primarily on speculation and conjecture," including that Fox News intended to inflict severe emotional distress.

Daniels said Tantaros failed to show anyone intercepted or tried to intercept her communications by hacking into her computer and cellphone.

He also said federal wiretap law did not prohibit the alleged physical surveillance that Tantaros said included black SUVs, including one driven by a member of late Fox News chief Roger Ailes' security detail, parking outside her homes.

Tantaros represented herself in the surveillance case, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News declined to comment.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2017, one month after a New York state judge said Tantaros' lawsuit alleging harassment belonged in arbitration.

In a court filing, Tantaros said Fox News viewed her as a "danger," following her June 2016 refusal of a "seven-figure" settlement offer.

Fox News settled a variety of gender and racial bias lawsuits earlier this week.

The network and its parent 21st Century Fox Inc are trying to move past harassment and other scandals that led to the departures of Ailes, top-rated host Bill O'Reilly and other senior staff. Ailes died in May 2017.

The case is Tantaros v Fox News Network LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-02958. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

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