UPDATE with more details: More allegations of sexual harassment are being leveled against Fox News boss Roger Ailes by women, as some of Ailes’ high-profile female employees continue to come to his defense.
The latest accusations were detailed in a New York Magazine report Saturday morning written by Gabriel Sherman, author of The Loudest Voice in the Room, the controversial 2014 unauthorized biography of Ailes.
The report includes accusations by six women, only two of whom went on the record with New York about their alleged encounters with Ailes in 1989, and in the late ’60s, before Ailes went to Fox News Channel.
Kellie Boyle, now 54, and a former Republican National Committee field advisor, alleged her encounter with Ailes took place in 1989 just before she was about to sign a major contract with RNC. Another woman, Marsha Callahan, now 73, is a former model who told the magazine she met Ailes in the late ’60s when he was producing The Mike Douglas Show. She said she received a call directly from Ailes asking her to come for an interview for the show, and he specifically asked her to wear a garter belt and stockings because, she claims he told her, “If your legs look good in a garter belt, I’ll know you have great legs.”
Fox News responded to Deadline’s request for comment with a statement from attorney Barry Asen of Epstein Becker Green: “It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.”
The outside legal counsel also cited an Ailes memo to head of programming Bill Shine about giving Carlson extra promotional pushes. In the past, Alies’ camp has also argued that Carlson during the period in question had sent him handwritten notes thanking him for his support.
Later in the day, Carlson’s attorneys Nancy Erika Smith and Martin Hyman of Smith Mullin PC also responded to the New York Magazine article:
“Yesterday in a statement to the press (“litigating in the press”), an Ailes spokesperson challenged Gretchen’s lawyers to come forward with other victims of Ailes’ sexual harassment to speak on the record.
Today, six brave women voluntarily spoke out to New York Magazine detailing their traumatic sexual harassment by Ailes. We are hearing from others.
Then, Barry Asen, Ailes’ lawyer, accused Gretchen of “litigating in the press” and, without any investigation, within 3 hours, claimed that the allegations are false. How does he know that?
Women have the right to speak out — whether Ailes likes it or not — even about trauma they endured years ago and that haunts them to this day. Calling these women liars because they chose to speak out is despicable. Bullying and threats will not silence these brave women.”
Meanwhile, Fox News female on-air hosts continue to come forward, speaking in his defense, including Maria Bartiromo, Greta Van Susteren, Jeanine Pirro, and Kimberly Guilfoyle. They insist Carlson’s allegations are not in keeping with their experiences with Ailes. Van Susteren has been quoted saying she has never experienced any inappropriate behavior by Ailes, for whom she has worked 15 years, and that Carlson’s charges do not have the “ring of truth; Pirro has called the suit “absurd.”
Van Susteren took a certain amount of heat for her comments, on Twitter, and pushed back:
The latest legal turn in the case came Friday when Ailes’ lawyers filed a motion in federal court seeking to move Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit to arbitration and to stay all judicial proceedings, claiming she breached her contract.
That move came two days after longtime Fox News host Carlson filed the suit against her former boss, that claimed she was ousted after rebuffing his advances.
Lisa de Moraes contributed to this story.
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