The Roger Ailes sexual harassment claims have turned the media world upside down after former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson, and six other women from the network, filed a lawsuit against the Fox News CEO. While Ailes has had a lot of public figures come to his defense, two prominent women who work at Fox are supporting him.
People reports that Fox & Friends co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, and former co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, are defending Ailes.
“I want the public to know that this is a man with a really good heart,” Ailes tells the magazine. “In my experience, he has had my best interest in mind and he has my family’s best interest in mind. He is a family man and he is a father figure, and I will always be grateful to him for giving me a promotion when a lot of people wouldn’t have.”
Earhardt continued that Roger Ailes, 76, has “been there” for her through all of the “ups and downs” in her life, personally. She expressed a sincere desire to “be there for him” as her appreciation for his “loyalty.”
“… I don’t want his reputation smeared because he’s worked really hard to just give all of us such a great life. He really cares about other people,” Earhardt said.
Hasselbeck echoed similar sentiments about her experience with Ailes. She released a statement to People on Tuesday.
“Speaking from my personal experience, working for Roger Ailes and with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade was by far the most rewarding time in my 16-year broadcasting career because Roger, Steve and Brian consistently treated me with overwhelming respect, and pure-hearted kindness, for which I am forever thankful,” Hasselbeck said.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck defends Fox News chief Roger Ailes https://t.co/oJDhHnO7p5
— Daily Celeb News (@DailyCelebNews) July 12, 2016
Barry Asen, an attorney for Ailes, released a statement to People as well saying that 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.” Asen’s statement went on to say that all of the allegations brought on by the “30 to 50 years old, are false.”
Carlson’s lawyers — Nancy Erika Smith and Martin Hyman — responded with their own statement.
“Women have the right to speak out – whether Ailes likes it or not – even about trauma they endured years ago and that haunts them to this day,” the attorneys said. “Calling these women liars because they chose to speak out is despicable. Bullying and threats will not silence these brave women.”
— People Magazine (@people) July 12, 2016
Earhardt’s account of working for Roger Ailes at Fox News is far from what the sexual harassment claims indicate from his accusers. The Fox & Friends co-host says working for Ailes has been nothing but “bliss and joy.” Some of Carlson’s allegations claim that Ailes “sabotaged her career because she refused sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”
Earhardt says Ailes has never told her what she can say, can’t say, wear to work, or what she can do. She shares that she chooses to wear clothing she finds pretty and that’s a choice the women have at Fox. Earhardt, who’s worked at the network since 2007, says she’d be proud if her own daughter wanted to work at Fox.
“I love the work environment here,” Earhardt said. “I love Fox News. I’m raising a daughter and as a woman, I would be proud of my daughter if she worked at Fox News.”
Showing her unwavering support of Roger Ailes in light of his sexual harassment suit, Earnhardt recalls a time Ailes was very generous for an employee who had dreams of becoming a makeup artist and is now working in that department at Fox News. When the worker was emptying trash, the CEO asked what her goals were. When she told him she wanted to work in makeup, Ailes offered to pay for her way at one of the best cosmetics schools in the country. The young woman now supports her family and is one of Earnardt’s makeup artists at the studio.
There’s little doubt that having Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Ainsley Earhardt defend Roger Ailes amid the sexual harassment claims will make some people ponder why their experiences didn’t parallel Gretchen Carlson and the other defendants’ experiences.
[Photos by Terry Wyatt & Dario Cantatore/Getty Images]