Gretchen Carlson, 50, is a former Miss America. She is also the Fox News anchor who is now suing Roger Ailes, her former boss at Fox News, for sexual harassment.
Carlson was the co-host of Fox & Friends for many years, and then in 2013 moved to a show of her own. The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson aired weekdays in the afternoon. Until last month, Carlson was still hosting that program which consistently won its time slot, averaging 1.1 million viewers in recent months. But Fox News decided not to renew Carlson’s contract on June 23.
Carlson claims in the lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News as retaliation for rejecting Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, 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.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting:
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 “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.”
“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.
She says she was fired from Fox & Friends in 2013, and after being reassigned, claims being tormented by Ailes’ sexual comments and innuendo. Ailes allegedly told her that she saw everything as if it “only rains on women” and admonished her to stop worrying about equal treatment and getting “offended so God damn easy about everything.”
Ailes also ogled Carlson in the office, adds the lawsuit, and “asked her to turn around so he could view her posterior,” urging her to wear certain outfits that enhanced her figure.
Other Ailes’ comments like “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to” led to a meeting in Sept. 2015, continues the complaint, which was the scene for a more explicit invitation for a sexual relationship. Carlson says she refused, and as a result, according to the lawsuit, her compensation was cut, her appearances on the network were curtailed, and she was blocked from having social media and public relations support.
Carlson is now suing for compensatory damages for what has happened to her career, damages for mental anguish, punitive damages and more. She is represented by Nancy Smith at Smith Mullin.
In a statement issued Wednesday evening through Fox News, Mr. Ailes rebuffed Ms. Carlson’s accusations. “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false,’’ he said, calling it “a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract.’’
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