Skip to comments.Weather Channel anchor sexually harassed, sabotaged co-anchor, lawsuit contends
Posted on 05/11/2008 11:14:41 AM PDT by BenLurkin
The Weather Channel did not need Doppler Radar to track this storm. It needed a lawyer.
For almost two years, co-anchors Bob Stokes and Hillary Andrews seemed to make a good team on air and enjoyed good ratings. But behind the scenes, Stokes was sexually harassing Andrews and sabotaging her work on the air, her ongoing lawsuit against Stokes contends.
According to Andrews' lawsuit, Stokes, 50, once a popular meteorologist at the cable network, was a serial sexual harasser.
Stokes had already harassed a former co-anchor and then became sexually obsessed with Andrews when she began working at the cable network in the fall of 2003, Andrews' lawsuit says. He made crude sexual remarks to her, leered at her chest and followed her into the women's dressing room, she says in the lawsuit.
In court filings, Andrews also says The Weather Channel is trying to keep under wraps a Jan. 31 award granted to her by an arbitrator who wrote a decision critical of Stokes' and The Weather Channel management. The day the decision came down, Stokes was fired from his anchor job, Andrews' court filing says.
Stokes, of Marietta, did not return a phone call and his lawyer, Jeff Kent, said Wednesday his client will not comment.
"He obviously denies them," Kent said of the allegations. "The allegations are just allegations. This case will be fully defended and we expect Mr. Stokes to prevail."
Stan Wilson, a lawyer for The Weather Channel, said it is the station's position "that this is a dispute between two former employees of The Weather Channel who have not worked together since March 2005."
Andrews began pursuing her sexual harassment claims against The Weather Channel shortly after she was told her contract was not being renewed in 2006. Separately, she filed suit in November against Stokes in Cobb County Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages and attorneys fees. She contends Stokes, through "relentless unwelcome sexual advances," made her job so untenable The Weather Channel decided not to renew her contract.
After Andrews took the job in 2003, Stokes told her it had been a long time since he was so attracted to someone and asked intimate questions about her sex life, the suit says.
When Andrews rebuffed Stokes' advances, the suit says, he retaliated, sometimes sabotaging her on-air performance. He insulted her during live broadcasts, asked her questions during broadcasts that he knew she couldn't answer, and intentionally read her portion of the script to throw her off guard during a broadcast, her lawsuit contends.
After Andrews complained to the station's management about the alleged harassment and said she could not tolerate working with Stokes anymore, she was assigned the overnight shift and later told her contract would not be renewed, the suit says. Her court filings contend The Weather Channel tolerated Stokes' conduct because he was a popular on-air personality and earned good ratings for the station.
To bolster the lawsuit in Cobb County against Stokes, Andrews' lawyers told The Weather Channel they intended to put the arbitrator's decision into evidence.
The Weather Channel opposed it, saying the decision is confidential. It threatened litigation against Andrews and her lawyers. On Wednesday, Wilson, The Weather Channel's lawyer, said the company's policy is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all employees, including Stokes and Andrews who agreed to the confidentiality of the arbitration process.
In March Andrews filed a federal lawsuit against The Weather Channel, seeking a court order allowing her to put the arbitrator's decision in the court record.
"Without accountability, an employer has little incentive to follow the law," Andrews' lawyer, Daniel Klein, said Wednesday. "Employers should know that when they sacrifice their employees' rights on the altar of profits, people will find out."
In a court filing in late April, Andrews said that while The Weather Channel "is understandably eager to assure that the arbitrator's findings and conclusions never see the light of day," there is nothing in her agreement that prevents disclosure of the award.
Check this out....
If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it?
They should change the name to The Climate Channel. I can’t stand to look anymore.
The true story of global warming.......
OMG, the humanity!
But he shouldn't have followed her into a woman's dressing room.
And hot below the equator......
He obviously thought conditions were right for high pressure followed by a warm moist low coming up from the south. But instead all he got was an artic cold front.
Oh, and by the way, NOT GUILTY!
Must be a hack on the set.
Other articles she claims he asked her to lick his swizzle stick using those words.
Frankly I think this is the weather channel’s very own The Legend of Ron Burgandy.
This looks like an extra pop-corn event to me. :)
Not to mention his complete failure to forecast the force 10 schit storm on the horizon.
Who is/was the spanish looking woman that’s been on seemingly since the beginning? She was and still is a looker only I forget her name.
Are you thinking of Jennetta Jones?
Yeah that’s her. She has agred remarkably well. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me but I could swear I remember her being on there since the late 80’s.