Fox News host Shepard Smith came out as gay in an interview with The Huffington Post published Monday, denying previous rumors that former Fox boss Roger Ailes made homophobic comments in front of him and prevented him from coming out.
Smith confirmed his sexuality when he told HuffPo that Ailes always treated him with respect, and had never used homophobic slurs in front of him, something Ailes has been accused of doing.
“No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith told The Huffington Post. “I wasn’t new in the business when I came here ― I’d been doing reporting for 12 years ― but I wasn’t old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”
Smith’s sexuality has been tabloid fodder for some time, and although Smith has appeared on Out Magazine’s Power 50 list, he’s never confirmed it before.
Smith also denied reports that Ailes had prevented him from publicly coming out in the past.
“That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” he told the site. “I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
The site noted that Smith was still visibly shaken and emotional when speaking about Ailes, who resigned from the network after multiple current and former employees accused him of sexual harassment. Smith said that the revelations about Ailes have been hard to take.
“It’s such a wonderful place, and it’s been home forever. He was very fatherly and mentorish,” he told the site. “And now I know that there were other things going on here.”