Carlson, 50, former host of Fox Network’s “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” left the network on June 23, after 11 years when her contract was not renewed.
Cerlson however, has just filed a law suit alleging that the non-renewal of her contract had nothing to do with her contributions to the network, but rather because she would not succumb to the sometimes direct overtures and other times veiled hints for physical intimacy from her boss, the 76-yera-old married head of the FOX Network Roger Ailes. She states that it all started when she had complained about the treatment of women in the newsroom by their male counterparts.
According to the lawsuit, Carlson said Ailes told her last September:
“I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
“Sometimes problems are easier to solve (that way).”
Carlson further claims that Ailes would sometimes ogle her in his office and ask her to “turn around so he could view her posterior, and would comment on “certain outfits (that) enhanced Carlson’s figure” and make comments about her legs.
Roger Ailes, Fox News Channel CEO, is accused of running a sex to play regime at Fox
She quotes Ailes sayin to her “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to” .
She alleges Ailes on one occassion embarrassed her,telling people in front of her at an event that he’d “slept” with “three former Miss Americas but not with her.” She sought to cool the tension by asking for a ‘clear-the-air’ meeting with him in his office in September of last year, but the retaliation got worse after she rebuffed his advances.
The lawsuit implies that other women in the newsroom “who did not complain about harassment or rebuff his sexual advances” enjoyed better promotion and support. But for Nancy Erika Smith, Carlson’s lawyers,”It’s 2016, this has to stop,” “Women should be allowed into the work place without their male bosses saying, ‘You have to have sex with me.’”
She’s very brave as a media person standing up to someone as powerful as Roger Ailes — for herself and all women.”
Another member of the Carlson’s team of lawyers, Martin Hyman, said “We believe that Mr. Ailes’ behavior toward Gretchen, as described in the complaint, speaks volumes about what she had to endure.”
“Opposing sexism and rejecting unwanted sexual come-ons should never cost a woman her job or subject her to disparagement and emotional anguish.”
Issuing a statement Wednesday, Carlson said “Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace.”
Her attorney Erika Smith, makes the distinction that while the termination has been “devastating” and “potentially career-ending” forCarlson,she is not suing the network itself.
Carlson who joined Fox News in 2005, alleges her problems started four years into her tenure in 2009 while she was a co-host on the popular “Fox & Friends” morning show. She had complained to her bosses that one of her co-hosts, Steve Doocy, “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way.”
She says Doocy’s “severe and pervasive sexual harassment ” included “mocking [Carlson] during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show, and generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop,” the suit says.When Ailes the head of the Network found out she’d complained, he admonished her as a “man hater” and “killer” and advised that she needed to “get along with the boys.”
Erika Smith categorizes the work place environment that thrives in FOX under Ailes as “Sexual innuendo was always part of the Ailes playbook.”
Read the details of the Carlson Sexual Harassment suit here…
The suit claims when Carlson did not fall in line, Ailes retaliated by decreasing her duties “and directing that she not be showcased at all”.
Carlson once walked off a broadcast of “Fox & Friends” in Aug. 2012 when co-host Brian Kilmeade launched into a sexist diatribe about women joining a previously all-male Navy band.
The suit claims Ailes then fired her from the show in 2013 “for her refusal to accede to sexual harassment and retaliation,” with the intention of replacing her with the younger Elisabeth Hasselbeck, from the “The View” on rival network, ABC.
Ailes, Fox News Channel CEO, accused of sexual harassment and intimidation
Carlson was then re-assigned to a 2-3 p.m. solo show for less pay, even though her workload increased. her suit claims she “continued to work diligently” while achieving “solid and consistent ratings increases up until the day she was terminated” in June, the suit says.
Carlson is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Wednesday night The Ailes camp in response to the Carlson lawsuit said: “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.”
“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. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”