Gretchen Carlson who is the host of Fox’s “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson” and former co-host of “Fox & Friends” filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that her boss and chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, fired her because she refused his sexual advances.
The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in New Jersey, which is where Ailes lives. The lawsuit asserts that Ailes “made sexually-charged” comments to Gretchen Carlson “ranging from lewd innuendo, ogling and remarks about Ms. Carlson’s body to demands for sex as a way for her to improve her job standing.”
Carlson decided to finally file the lawsuit after being fired from the network last month. While the suit names Ailes as the only defendant, “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy is also accused of sexual harassment.
Carlson contends that she was sexually harassed by Ailes for many months. And she claims that the working environment at Fox was completely inappropriate and unacceptable for her and for other women. She says that Ailes began “ostracizing, marginalizing, and shunning” her after she turned down his sexual advances.
Carlson met with Ailes in September to discuss her working environment,and he told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago” and added that “sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way.
In 2009 Carlson complained about a hostile work environment on the set of “Fox & Friends.” She went to her supervisor complaining that her co-host Steve Doocy repeatedly engaged in “severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”
“Doocy engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson, including, but no limited to, mocking her 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 journalist rather than a blond (sic) female prop.”
When Ailes heard of the complaint he called Carlson a “man hater” and insisted that she learn how to “get along with the boys.”
According to one of Carlson’s lawyers, Nancy Erika Smith, “We believe that the evidence will confirm that Gretchen was fired from ‘Fox & Friends’ for speaking up about demeaning and discriminatory behavior on and off the set.”
Carlson claims that because of her complaint about Doocy and her continual refusal to have sex with Ailes she was fired from “Fox & Friends” in 2013 and demoted to an afternoon show on the network. As soon as she left the morning show Carlson’s pay was cut, her workload increased, and promotional support from the network all but stopped.
Carlson also says that Ailes asked her to “turn around so he could view her posterior, commented repeatedly about her legs, and instructed her to wear certain outfits that he claimed enhanced her figure.”
Martin Hyman, one of Carlson’s lawyers, said,
“We believe that Mr. Ailes’ behavior toward Gretchen, as described in the complaint, speaks volumes about what she had to endure. The evidence will show that Ailes deliberately sabotaged the career of a talented, hard-working journalist and loyal Fox News employee. Opposing sexism and rejecting unwanted sexual come-ons should never cost a woman her job or subject her to disparagement and emotional anguish.”
For their part, Fox News now says that they have launched an internal review of the behavior of Ailes and Doocy.
In response to the lawsuit, Ailes released a statement calling the suit “defamatory” and “retaliatory.”
“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” Ailes’s statement said. “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.”
You can read the full complaint here….