Fox News CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes is not having a good week, after being accused by former host Gretchen Carlson of “very consistent and very pervasive” sexual harassment. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Roger Ailes on Wednesday, citing ” sexual and/or sexist comments,” “sexual advances by various means,” and alleging that her contract was ended as a direct result of attempts to end her mistreatment by Ailes.
Now, according to a report from TIME, six more women have come forth to add their voices to Carlson’s, allegations that they had been the victims of sexual harassment by Roger Ailes for decades — and, according to New York Magazine, more than a dozen women have contacted Carlson’s attorney with detailed allegations of sexual harassment.
And this isn’t even the first time Ailes has faced such accusations. As New York reports, in the 2014 biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News–and Divided a Country, interviews with four other women include even more allegations of sexual harassment, including inappropriate comments in the workplace and unwanted sexual advances.
Carlson’s attorney, New Jersey-based Nancy Erika Smith, said that the allegations she was now hearing were all new.
“These are women who have never told these stories until now. Some are in lot of pain.”
And according to New York, they add up to a picture of Roger Ailes as a boss who told the women under him that they were expected to perform sexual favors in return for advancement.
“He started naming other women he’s had. He said that’s how all these men in media and politics work — everyone’s got their friend,” said Kellie Boyle, the chief media strategist of former President George H. W. Bush. Boyle alleges that Ailes propositioned her in 1989, shortly after Bush was elected.
“So we get in the car and that’s when he said, ‘You know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys.’ I was so taken aback. I said, ‘Gosh I didn’t know that. How would that work?’ I was trying to kill time because I didn’t know if he was going to attack me. I was just talking until I could get out of the car.”
Ailes counsel, via attorney Barry Asen of Epstein Becker Green, dismissed all claims as “attempting to litigate this in the press,” citing a supposed lack of evidence.
“It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30- to 50-years-old, are false.”
They also filed a motion in federal court seeking to take the case to arbitration, citing similar reasoning.
“Plaintiff’s ploy of filing in Superior Court to justify her shameless publicity campaign against Roger Ailes should not be countenanced.”
Gretchen Carlson’s lawyers responded that Ailes was trying to get the case to move behind closed doors and out of the public eye.
“Roger Ailes is trying to force this case into a secret arbitration proceeding…Gretchen never agreed to arbitrate anything with Mr. Ailes.”
Meanwhile, the allegations aimed at Ailes keep getting worse. Marsha Callahan, now 73 and a former model, met Ailes in the late 1960s, when he was working as a producer for The Mike Douglas Show. She alleges that Ailes blatantly judged her appearance during their meeting, and told her bluntly that she would have to sleep with him before he’d let her appear on the show.
“So I go into his office and right away he says, ‘Sit on the sofa and lift your skirt up.’ I had to do these different poses. And then, I recall very clearly, he said he’d put me on the show but I needed to go to bed with him. I was a really shy girl, but I was a little cheeky so I said, ‘Oh yeah, you and who else?’ And he said, ‘Only me and a few of my select friends.'”
Whatever comes of Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit, it doesn’t seem as if Roger Ailes’ secrets are going to be staying hidden any longer.
[Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images]