Long-time CEO and chairman of Fox News Robert Ailes is going to be out the door by August 1, according to reports from Ailes’ lawyers.
Company representatives for Fox News have resisted making definitive statements about Roger’s future; however, in a statement, the company said, “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. And the only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”
The news of Roger Ailes’ departure comes hot on the heels of a litany of sexual assault allegations brought against him by recently departed Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to Carlson, Roger Ailes regularly ogled her, made sexual advances, and purposefully cut her pay in retaliation.
Six other women, all former Fox employees, contacted Carlson’s lawyer to share similar stories after the lawsuit was presented July 6. Megyn Kelly, however, appeared to place the final nail in the coffin Monday when she reportedly said that she was also sexually harassed by Roger.
According to reports from New York Magazine, Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan Murdoch, the top three executives of 21st Century Fox, consider Kelly to be the future of Fox News, particularly in light of popular Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s intent to retire.
More allegations may follow, as 21st Century Fox has agreed to waive non-disclosure agreements for allegations against Ailes.
Roger Ailes has denied all claims of assault since they’ve come out. Barry Asen, Ailes’ outside counsel, has dismissed all allegations, and said that Carson’s team “are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue.”
Ailes’ decision to slam the women bringing cases against him as liars is not a surprise. One of the women who reached out to lawyers but have not shared their name said, “The problem is you don’t want to come forward because you don’t want to be personally and professionally destroyed … You don’t want to bring down Roger Ailes’s wrath on your head.”
Ailes said in a statement, “(Carson’s suit) is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit.”
“Ironically, Fox News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book,” Ailes continued. “This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Vox has drawn comparisons between Ailes’ cases and allegations against comedian Bill Cosby. The comedian had dozens of women come out to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them after Andrea Constand filed a lawsuit claiming Cosby had assaulted her in 2004.
As CEO of Fox News, Ailes has had a hand on the controls for all employees and their careers at Fox News, and Ailes and his supporters have created a “conspiracy of silence,” according to one of the anonymous women.
“Television is really a difficult, arbitrary, and competitive business, and you don’t want to give TV executives a reason to say no,” she added.
An unauthorized 2014 biography of Roger Ailes written by Gabriel Sherman, a New York Magazine reporter, also included details of sexual assault as told by anonymous female employees.
No agreements have officially been reached yet. Ailes’s lawyer, Susan Estrich, said “When there is an agreement, if there is an agreement, 21st Century Fox will make an announcement.”
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