Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is suing contributor Nomiki Konst over a tweet she posted, and the network executive that she is accusing of ordering the tweet. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The tweet recounted a supposed altercation between Konst, a liberal contributor to Fox News, and Tantaros.
“Remember that time Bill O’Reilly kicked me off a weekly spot on his show after Andrea Tantaros physically attacked me & threatened me? I do!” the tweet read.
Remember that time Bill O'Reilly kicked me off a weekly spot on his show after Andrea Tantaros physically attacked me & threatened me? I do!
— Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) April 19, 2017
Tantaros claims in the complaint that the tweet amounts to defamation, but also alleges that it was sent by order of Fox News public relations executive Irena Briganti in order to intimidate Tantaros.
According to Law Newz, Tantaros informed Fox News contributor Pete Snyder that she was going to sue him for allegedly organizing a social media campaign to smear her reputation on behalf of Roger Ailes, the former Fox CEO. The lawsuit says that Konst’s tweet was posted 90 minutes after this contact, and alleges that this is not a coincidence.
“The timing of the Konst tweet,” the lawsuit reads, “one hour and 17 minutes after Tantaros’s counsel informed Snyder’s counsel that Tantaros would be going forward with her lawsuit against Snyder no later than April 20, 2017 — is highly suspicious.”
The complaint assigns a motive to Konst posting what Tantaros claims is a false accusation, saying “Konst had a strong motive to do Briganti’s bidding because Konst desperately wants to appear regularly on Fox News.”
Briganti denies having anything to do with the Konst tweet, saying in a statement through her attorneys, “I had nothing whatsoever to do with Ms. Konst’s decision to publish a tweet about her views on Bill O’Reilly, in which she mentioned Andrea Tantaros. I have never even met or spoken with Ms. Konst.” A lawyer for Snyder denied any involvement on his part either.
Tantaros had previously filed a lawsuit against Fox News, which described the network as a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”
Tantaros is seeking damages from Konst and Briganti for what her complaint claims is libel per se. Konst has more than 55,000 followers on Twitter who could have seen the message.
[Ed. Note: This post has been edited to include Briganti’s statement.]