Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor who won both a $20 million settlement and a rare public apology after filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against boss Roger Ailes, told ABC’s 20/20 tonight the advice she shares with women in similar situations: “Document.”
But the ex-Fox & Friends cohost, who won the settlement in part because she had recorded evidence of Ailes’ behavior on her iPhone, stopped short of telling all women to adopt her tactic: “You should check laws in individual states” pertaining to recording conversations without consent, Carlson told 20/20‘s Amy Robach.
Carlson’s appearance on 20/20 was her first TV interview since the settlement was announced in September. Ailes has denied the allegations.
During the interview, Robach told Carlson that she, too, had been sexually harassed at work, and asked Carlson why women are so often reluctant to speak out. “Because look at how they react to women when they finally do come forward,” Carlson said. “They’re accused of making it up.”
Tonight’s 20/20 also included interviews with former Fox News booking director Laurie Luhn, whose relationship with Ailes was documented in New York magazine, as well as a sexually harassed waitress and human resources experts.
Though 20/20 broke little, if any, news on the story – Carlson said she couldn’t discuss details of her case, in keeping with the settlement agreement – the report did include a rather startling clip of a 22-year-old Carlson at a press conference after winning the Miss America title. Penny Crone, a well-known local reporter in New York, pointedly grilled Carlson about whether her hair was dyed, who was on the $20 and $5 bills and – to the groans of the other reporters – whether Carlson had ever had sex.
Years later, Carlson said, she ran into Crone again, and asked the local reporter if she remembered her. “When I was Miss America,” Carlson told Crone, “you tried to take me down, and I just want to let you know I’m now a correspondent for CBS News, and you’re not.”
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