A Spanish-language TV network is facing allegations that it fired a news anchor when she complained about sexual harassment.
The anchor claims in a lawsuit filed Friday that executives at Estrella TV urged her to dress more provocatively on air. The suit quotes Andres Angulo, the network’s VP of news, as telling her that “she had a beautiful pair of tits and should show them more.”
The anchor is not named in the lawsuit. However, several identifying details about her career indicate that she is Adriana Ruggiero. Ruggiero, a native of Venezuela, was reported as leaving the network in April.
In the suit, the plaintiff said she told the network’s human resources department that Angulo had engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment. The suit claims that Angulo harassed a co-worker of the plantiff’s for several years, and once offered her an assignment in exchange for sexual favors.
The suit also refers to Lenard Liberman, the owner of Estrella TV. In early 2015, the anchor was told that Liberman had chosen her to be the next national news anchor, but “wasn’t 100 percent sure about her because her appearance was too conservative.” Angulo told her that Liberman wanted her to “look sexier.”
When the anchor asked him to clarify, Angulo made the remark about showing her breasts, according to the suit. The anchor responded that “she also had a brain and she wasn’t going to lower her image for television ratings.”
A few months later, the network hired another anchor, Adriana Yanez. When the plaintiff asked about receiving a $25,000 bonus for good ratings, she was warned not to push too hard for the money because Liberman liked Yanez and might decide to replace her.
A couple of months after that, Yanez did replace her. According to the suit, Angulo remarked on “how beautiful Yanez was on camera.”
Liberman Broadcasting, which owns Estrella TV, said in a statement “we simply don’t comment on pending litigation.”