Paula Faris, a co-host of ABC’s The View and Good Morning America’s weekend edition, on Friday said she was sexually harassed while working at a Dayton TV news station.
“I had an opportunity to start reporting at the station in Dayton, Ohio. One of my superiors, right when I started, said women didn’t belong in sports,” Faris said. “And you won’t make it unless you show… something that rhymes with bits, alright, so he said you won’t make it unless you show your goods.”
WKEF/WRGT-TV, locally known as “ABC 22/ FOX 45” and owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, is the Dayton station listed in Faris’ biography on ABC’s website. Faris also is a 1997 Cedarville University graduate, according to the school’s website.
Faris did not name the individual who she said harassed her and she did not name the station. The View airs on ABC 22 in Dayton.
The station’s general manager could not be reached to comment.
“I kind of thought what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but on my way out, about a year later I got another job,” Faris said. “…So I just wrote a letter to the human resources department on my way out saying that this guy was abusing people verbally and I wasn’t in it for litigation or money or anything, I don’t know what happened.”
Faris’ comments were made as hosts of The View were discussing the sexual harassment scandal that led to Bill O’Reilly being fired from Fox News earlier this week.
The View showed a clip of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin saying that women who are sexually harassed should speak out. “Sometimes it’s really hard” for victims of sexual harassment to speak up, Faris said, before telling the story of her own experience.
Faris told the Dayton Daily News she did not want to share further details of the harassment incident.
“This was roughly 16 years ago. And, is really water under the bridge, as far as I’m concerned,” Faris said via email. “I’m not interested in publicly naming someone and assassinating their character, further. I shared with the sole intent of hoping others, women and men, would be more courageous in sharing their own stories.”
Brian Butler, an attorney at Mezibov-Butler law firm in Cincinnati, said that under federal law, cases of sexual harassment have to be reported within 300 days for legal action to be taken. Ohio law allows for a case of sexual harassment to be reported within 6 years, Butler said. Since Faris was harassed nearly 16 years ago, legally, “really nothing can be done,” Butler said.
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