A former Fox News employee has filed a lawsuit against Showtime for allegedly falsely portraying her in the upcoming mini-series about Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who became a #MeToo harbinger after several women under his employment accused him of sexual harassment and assault.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Laurie Luhn, who previously worked on shows hosted by Brit Hume and Tony Snow before being promoted by Ailes, alleges that "the upcoming adaptation of Gabriel Sherman’s book 'The Loudest Voice in the Room' will portray her as enabling Ailes' sexual harassment of women at the network instead of a victim."
Luhn claims that Ailes committed multiple acts of sexual assault and harassment against her to the point that she contemplated suicide. The show, however, reportedly plans to portray her as a "a pimp for Ailes, willingly lining up women for him to sexually assault." She demands $750 million and a permanent injunction to prevent the show's makers from using her story for commercial use.
Gabriel Sherman, the book's author, previously had written an article in which he said that Luhn "denied ever setting Ailes up with her staff for explicitly sexual purposes, but she did send them in for private meetings with him where she knew they could be exposed to sexual harassment."
Some of the tactics that Luhn alleges Ailes employed against her equal that of the insidious methods disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is alleged to have committed, such as the use of abusive mind-control techniques while issuing bizarre orders like how to dress in front of him. THR describes more:
Luhn said she "was forced to purchase black garters and stockings to wear for Ailes, which he called her ‘uniform,’"according to the lawsuit. Co-workers, and even those in journalism and politics but not working for Fox News, began referring to her as "Roger’s spy," and Ailes said he kept compromising photos and videos of Luhn as an insurance policy to keep her quiet.
When Luhn received a promotion in 2004, Ailes told her "to go to the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square, put on her ‘uniform’ and thank him for the promotion." Then he forced her to "perform oral sex," the lawsuit says.
Luhn also alleges that Ailes "utilized Fox News’ management and media relations department to monitor, harass, threaten and gaslight" her, claiming he would sometimes strike fear in her heart by threatening her with conspiratorial stories about how "George Soros and Hillary Clinton were trying to kill her."
To portray her as an enabler of Ailes, Luhn says that the book's author Gabriel Sherman "coerced and induced" her during their recorded 11-hour interview, asserting that he "capitalized on her very vulnerable state of mind, PTSD and exploited an already terrified, confused and emotionally shattered woman."
The Showtime series will feature Russel Crowe in the role of Roger Ailes and Naomi Watts in the role of Gretchen Carlson, the first woman to publicly accuse the CEO of harassment.
Hollywood is also currently producing a film about the reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein scandal.