Attorneys for former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson say they have spoken with more than 20 women with similar claims against Roger Ailes
Calls and emails started flooding in after the lawsuit was filed on July 6
The claims date as far back as the 1960s, when Ailes was working as an executive producer on The Mike Douglas Show
Carlson’s spokesman says some of the claims are ‘severe’ – but refused to go into detail
Meanwhile, Ailes continues to run the network in New York while reportedly brokering his exit agreement with the Murdochs
Roger Ailes and wife
More than 20 women have accused Fox News chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment in confidential conversations with the attorneys representing former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, her legal team said on Wednesday.
The accusations have poured in at a steady clip by phone and email since Carlson filed an explosive sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes two weeks ago. In her lawsuit, Carlson claims that Ailes propositioned her for sex and then fired her when she refused.
According to her legal team, the new accusations range in time from Ailes’s current tenure at Fox News all the way back to his role in the 60s as executive producer on The Mike Douglas Show. Almost all of the 20-plus women claim they experienced Ailes’s harassment firsthand. Only a handful reached out as witnesses. In a few cases, said spokesman John Garger, the accusations are as “severe” as those in Carlson’s lawsuit. He declined to share more details.
Kellie Boyle alleges that Roger Ailes made unwanted sexual advances towards her in 1989 when she was 29
“The messages are still coming in,” he said.
Carlson’s 6 July lawsuit shocked the media world with claims that Ailes – one of the most powerful executives in media – sabotaged her career after she rebelled against his “constant and severe sexual harassment”. The 11-year anchor and former Miss America was removed from the highly rated Fox & Friends show in 2013 and fired from the network in June – two events Carlson claims were part of a series of retaliatory humiliations.
“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,” Ailes said, according to the lawsuit. Among the other offences set out by the suit Ailes was accused of “ogling Carlson in his office and asking her to turn around so he could view her posterior”.
Removing one lascivious man can’t turn around the mess of misogyny that is Fox News. This is a network that bans its female on-air talent from wearing pants, where a host characterized a military operation against Isis led by a woman as “boobs on the ground” and the ethos of the coverage is shockingly antagonistic to women’s rights.
“Justice” host Jeanine Pirro called the suit “absurd” and “ridiculous” in an exclusive interview Thursday night.
Van Susteren is the second female Fox News host to vocally defend Ailes since Carlson’s lawsuit was filed, saying Carlson as “a very unhappy employee that lost her job.”
“What she’s alleging is just wildly out of anything anyone has ever experienced with Roger,” Van Susteren said. “Jeanine is a lawyer. I have two law degrees … It’s unfortunate. (Carlson’s) contract wasn’t renewed, I don’t know why. I don’t have any information on that. But all of a sudden, we’re hearing these incredibly explosive remarks. It’s completely foreign to any of the rest of our experience.”
Maria Bartiromo said: ‘Nobody wants to see anybody have any bad experiences. It’s just not in keeping with what I know, and my experience at Fox.’
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