Carlson Speaks Out: Roger Ailes’ Verbal Harassment Was ‘Continuous’

|
July 13, 2016 7:41 a.m.

In her first public interview since she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, former anchor Gretchen Carlson said she came forward because she “finally felt it was time” to speak out.

“I just wanted to stand up for myself, first and foremost,” Carlson told The New York Times in a Tuesday interview at her lawyer Nancy Erika Smith’s New Jersey home. “And I wanted to stand up for other women who maybe faced similar circumstances.”

The former “Real Story” host stood by the allegations laid out in the lawsuit, claiming that Ailes made sexual advances towards her, oversaw a culture of sexual harassment at Fox News and fired her because she refused him and complained about her treatment at the network.

She told the Times that she kept quiet about the “continuous” offensive language she heard from Ailes because of the hierarchical structure of the network.

“Everyone knew how powerful Roger Ailes was,” she said. “I certainly felt intimidated by that.”

Ailes has denied all of the charges, insisting that Carlson filed the “retaliatory” suit because she was upset that her contract was terminated.

Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti told the Times that Carlson “never filed a formal complaint about sexual harassment” to the human resources or legal departments. Over a dozen hosts at the network, including Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greta Van Susteren, Geraldo Rivera, and Sean Hannity, have spoken out in defense of Ailes and the network.

Carlson told the Times that their support was qualified by the fact that “they’re still being paid by Fox.”

Other allegations of sexual harassment surfaced last weekend in a New York Magazine article that shared stories from six women who said Ailes pressured them to exchange sexual favors with him in exchange for job opportunities between the mid-1960s and 1989. The shocking allegations, which include explicit requests for sex and for women to pose privately for him, were denied by Ailes’ lawyer, Barry Asen.

The Fox chairman’s legal team filed a motion for the suit to be moved from a New Jersey Superior Court to a federal court last week, and also claimed Carlson breached her contract by trying to bypass the arbitration process outlined in her network contract. Carlson’s lawyers told the Times they would file a response next week.

21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, has also contracted law firm Paul, Weiss to conduct an internal investigation into Carlson’s allegations.

Latest Livewire
Change to Commenting Permissions Starting May 1st

Beginning May 1, 2021, the option to comment on an article will be reserved only for TPM members. Non-members and those with free accounts will still be able to read comments both past and present, but will no longer be able to participate.

We hope that dedicated participants in the comments will join us as members, and want to make it as easy as possible for you to to so. We are offering 40% OFF an annual Prime membership to TPM readers with commenting accounts.

40% Off an Annual Prime Membership

We also offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: