Gretchen Carlson says she "wanted to stand up for myself" and "for other women who maybe faced similar circumstances," in her first interview since suing Fox News chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. She tells the New York Times she first complained to Fox in 2009 when her Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy pulled her arm on the air. That complaint and others were ignored, even when discussed during at least six meetings with Ailes himself, she says, her comments made while sitting between two lawyers who she "often deferred" to, notes the Times. She adds the untoward comments from Ailes were "continuous," and that she felt pressured by the network over the years, including to say she walked off set in 2012 only as a joke. But "I was sending a signal about how I felt."
A Fox rep counters that Carlson "never filed a formal complaint about sexual harassment to the HR department or to the legal department." Fox has also shared handwritten notes Carlson gave to Ailes last year asking for more opportunities and to stay at Fox. Carlson says that she believed things would "get better." Ailes has denied Carlson's allegations, suggesting her legal action is just "a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract." Carlson says she was informed she was being let go in a "cold and calculating" meeting that "took 30 seconds." Her legal team says it will file a motion in response to Ailes' motion regarding Carlson bypassing arbitration, as stipulated in her contract, next week. (Read more Gretchen Carlson stories.)