Gretchen Carlson Says She Was Fired after Rebuffing Ailes’ Advances
by Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter July 6
Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran and longtime Fox News host, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court, states that her contract expired, and that despite working at Fox News for 11 years and being the host of a show that was leading in its afternoon time slot, she was unfairly terminated as the result of events much earlier.
According to the complaint, “When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘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,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”
Carlson, who worked at CBS on its Saturday morning show, joined Fox News in 2005, has interviewed many prominent politicians and celebrities, and spent 7 1/2 years as a co-host on Fox & Friends. Most recently, she’s been leading the program, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.
In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast.”
Carlson accuses Doocy of of “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” off the air 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.”
But complaints about Doocy (who isn’t named as a co-defendant) allegedly went nowhere.
“After learning of Carlson’s complaints, Ailes responded by calling Carlson a ‘man hater’ and ‘killer’ and telling her that she needed to learn to ‘get along with the boys,'” states the complaint, which adds that her complaints led to being assigned fewer hard-hitting political interviews.
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