Roger Ailes has been around a long time. A television producer turned Republican presidential adviser turned leader of Fox News.
But after a remarkably long run, a number of women are coming forward that could put an end to his lengthy career.
It started with a bombshell lawsuit filed last week by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson who described Ailes as a “serial sexual harasser” who ogled her and frequently made sexually charged comments about her appearance.
Ailes strongly denies the allegations, but his lawyers are working overtime to move Carlson’s law to arbitration, which would prevent witnesses from being called in court.
Why? Because at least ten women have come forward in the last 72 hours to claim Ailes sexual harassed them too.
New York Magazine’s Gabe Sherman interviewed six women who shared stories about Ailes as far back as 1965. Like with entertainer Bill Cosby, the incidents happened too long ago to be litigated. Still, they back the contention of Carlson that Ailes abused his power to take advantage of women.
Perhaps the most damning accusation came from a former model who says that Ailes demanded oral sex from her when she was 16 years old and appearing on “The Mike Douglas Show,” which Ailes used to produce.
Ailes took me into this big office and locked the door with a key. He reclined on a couch in a seating area under a map that had flags of all the cities they were syndicated in. He proceeded to pull down his pants and very gingerly pull out his genitals and said, “Kiss them.”
Kellie Boyle, a former Republican National Committee field adviser, says Ailes told her having sex with him would advance her career in the GOP.
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. He said, ‘That’s the way it works,’ and he started naming other women he’s had.
Another former television producer claims Ailes told her she would have sex with her and “anyone I tell you to” in order to make it in New York City.
I don’t remember his exact words, but his message was: If you want to make it in New York City in the TV business, you’re going to have to fuck me, and you’re going to do that with anyone I tell you to. I was afraid he was going to pin me down.
Those are a sample of the claims, and there are a growing number of current Fox News employees who back Carlson up.
Ailes, who has denied through an attorney all of the accusations, continues to run a cable news giant while doing his best to keep a lid on a story decades in the making.