Nexstar said that anchor-reporter Courtney Friel will return to air on its KTLA-TV station in Los Angeles on January 18, after a tour for her new memoir that includes a claim that Donald Trump propositioned her a decade ago, when she was working for Fox News.
There had been some questions about her presence on the channel in the publicity that is surrounding her book.
The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that after the Trump revelation came to light in a New York Daily News story last week, she did not appear in her regularly scheduled spot as weekend anchor at the station on Saturday or Sunday. A spokesman, Steve Honig, told Deadline she was scheduled to start her travels for her book tour on Monday, and that she was due back on January 18. He declined further comment.
Her book, Tonight at 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News, tells the story of her addiction and recovery, but in three paragraphs she relays an episode from 2010, when she was working at Fox News. She wrote that Trump “told me I was the hottest one at Fox News, and even called me up on my office line with a proposition.”
“You should come up to my office sometime, so we can kiss,” Trump said, according to the book.
She wrote, “I was shocked — seriously, who says that? ‘Donald,” I responded, ‘I believe we’re both married.’ I quickly ended the call — my office mate and colleague Rick Folbaum had witnessed the whole conversation while sitting in the desk right next to me.”
The White House did not return a request for comment on her book’s passage. Folbaum, who now works at a station in Atlanta, said via an email, “I can confirm Courtney’s account.”
The New York Daily News zeroed in on the anecdote in a story on Friday, and it began to generate attention even though it is just a sliver of her story.
“This is just one tiny story in my book that will hopefully help people get sober,” Friel wrote on Twitter.
She also wrote that she experienced sexual harassment by then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes, “though not to the extent some of my other colleagues did.” She wrote that Ailes “would ask me to twirl for him,” something that other women who worked at the network said that they were asked to do too.
Friel is scheduled to appear on the Fox station in Philadelphia for an interview about her book.
A representative for KTLA-TV did not return requests for comment, but the spokesman for Nexstar, its parent company, said, “Courtney had some long-scheduled vacation in connection with her book tour. She’ll be back on KTLA’s air January 18, when her vacation ends.”