Women Step Forward to Defend, Accuse Roger Ailes

In wake of Gretchen Carlson's suit
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2016 3:22 PM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2016 4:00 PM CDT
Women Share Stories of Sexual Harassment by Roger Ailes
Fox News head Roger Ailes, seen here in 2011, has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 10 women, including former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.   (AP Photo/2MK Studio/Fox News)

After former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News head Roger Ailes for sexual harassment this week, more than 10 other women contacted her lawyers claiming they'd also been harassed by Ailes, Politico reports. New York Magazine spoke to six of the women—three former models, a former TV producer, a media consultant, and a former field adviser for the Republican National Committee—for their first on-record interviews regarding the alleged sexual harassment. Two of them agreed to use their full names for the story. The alleged harassment occurred between 1965 and 1989, which pre-dates Ailes' tenure at Fox News. In one account, a woman says Ailes demanded oral sex from her when she was a 16-year-old model appearing on The Mike Douglas Show, on which Ailes was a producer.

Ailes' outside counsel, Barry Asen, accuses Carlson of "attempting to litigate this in the press. ... The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false." Asen also takes issue with Carlson sidestepping the provision in her contract that states any "disputes related to her employment" must be settled by arbitration. (Carlson's attorneys counter that she is suing Ailes, not Fox News.) Another contingent of women speaking up on the subject, per the Hollywood Reporter: female Fox News employees who are going on the record to state their relationship with Ailes has been above reproach. They include Sandra Smith, Martha MacCallum, Mercedes Colwin, Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro. Jezebel notes Megyn Kelly has yet to comment. (More Roger Ailes stories.)

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