Fox’s Shepard Smith Comes Out, Says Ailes Was Never Homophobic Toward Him

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith broadcasts his "Studio B" program, in New York, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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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.”

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Notable Replies

  1. Good on Shep.

  2. Not the usual ‘Casablanca’ quote about the shock of finding gambling, but it works:

    Ugarte: You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.

  3. no reason for Ailes to be mean to you… you weren’t viewed as competition for the babes…

  4. So Ailes wasn’t openly homophobic to Smith’s face, just a nasty lecher who thought he owned the women around him. Ailes and HO - two ugly birds of a feather.

    I’d never heard rumors that Shep was gay but also never cared, then or now.

  5. With all due respect to Mr. Smith–and I do believe he deserves a lot of respect–there is no way in hell Smith truly felt FOX was “getting it right.” No way. For sure, Smith had to witness, had to feel the strong propaganda Ailes and the others (O’Reilly, Hannity, Cavuto and others) were pushing. Come on, Shep – you could not have been that blind. Seriously! I call Bull Shit.

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