Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, citing sexual harassment of a pervasive nature.
According to reports from NBC, in late June, Gretchen Carlson was removed from her newscast “The Real Story” that aired on Fox. Carlson, who is 50 years old, cites that she was terminated because she refused to submit to Ailes sexual advances. Her attorney, Nancy Smith, told reporters that Ailes’ sexual harassment of Carlson was “very consistent and very pervasive.”
Gretchen Carlson: Ailes said publicly that he had “slept with three former Miss Americas, but not with her” https://t.co/t4kO0isCbE
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) July 6, 2016
Spokespeople for the Fox News CEO were not immediately available for comment. Gretchen Carlson’s attorney told reporters that she is only pursuing a lawsuit against Ailes and not against the Fox network.
The suit could have serious consequences for Fox. Given the close-knit and hyper-competitive media industry, public speculation has begun to surface about whether or not other women who have been employed by Fox would support Carlson’s claim or come forward with claims of their own.
Roger Ailes is 76 years old. He founded Fox News in 1996, and he has continued to run the network ever since. His employees are loyal to him, and he is said to rule with something of an iron fist.
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) July 6, 2016
The lawsuit states that Ailes repeatedly “injected sexual and/or sexist comments” into conversations with Carlson. It also states that he “made sexual advances by various means.” The lawsuit goes on to state that in September 2015, Ailes said to Carlson, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
In the lawsuit, Carlson states that she requested the meeting with Ailes in September because she was making an attempt to end the retaliatory treatment she had endured until that point. According to the lawsuit, her attempts were futile, and she alleges that the “retaliation” lasted until June, at which point her contract was not renewed.
The suit, which spans eight pages, was filed with the Superior Court of New Jersey and asserts that Ailes violated human rights laws. Carlson’s attorney says that her legal team is very confident in the evidence that they have obtained. She states, “We have very powerful evidence. But we don’t want to discuss what the evidence is outside of the courtroom.”
Smith also said, “the law is very clear that other victim’s testimony is relevant in a sexual harassment case. We may be asking these other women to testify.”
Carlson’s attorney also cited Steve Doocy, her longtime “Fox and Friends” co-host, in the complaint. She stated that Carlson received sexist and condescending treatment from Doocy as well. The complaint states that Doocy, “engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson, including, but not limited to, mocking her during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show, and generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) July 6, 2016
When Carlson complained about abusive behavior to Ailes, RogerAiles reportedly called her a “man hater” and “killer” before telling her to “get along with the boys.” Carlson believes that she was removed from the morning show and moved to the 2 o’clock hour as “further retaliation for her refusal to receive the sexual harassment and retaliation.”
It will be interesting to see the ramifications for Fox as this case begins to gain traction. Stay tuned to the Inquisitr as we continue to follow this and other breaking news stories.
[Photos by Michael Loccisano and Handout/Getty Images]