Gretchen Carlson was a ratings winner for over a decade at Fox News. But last month she was let go. Now in a bombshell lawsuit she claims it was because she refused the sexual advances of boss Roger Ailes.
Her shocking eight page lawsuit filed today portrays Ailes, a former top Republican operative before founding Fox News, as a “serial sexual harasser” who ogled Carlson in his office. She claims he frequently made sexually charged comments about her appearance.
Carlson accuses Ailes of retaliating against her after she refused his offer of a sexual relationship. She claims he cut her salary and on-air time before declining to renew her contract.
The allegations are also serious against the Fox newsroom which Carlson describes as a “boys’ club environment” that goes beyond Ailes.
She alleges that seven years ago she complained to Ailes that her co-host on “Fox & Friends,” Steve Doocy, had engaged in “severe and pervasive sexual harassment,” including mocking her during commercial breaks. Ailes responded, she claims, that she needed to learn how to “get along with the boys.”
Carlson wrote on Facebook today, “As you may have heard, I am no longer with Fox News. I value your support and friendship, especially now, so please stay in touch with me.”
Ailes, 76, strongly denied the accusations. In a statement released late Wednesday he wrote, “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This 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. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 after decades of advising Republican candidates.