The allegations against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment have taken the political world by storm, with new details emerging seemingly every day.
On July 21, weeks after the story broke that Ailes was being accused of sexual harassment by former Fox News The Real Story host Gretchen Carlson, the CEO resigned. Reportedly, 21st Century Fox and News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch has taken over as CEO in fulfillment of now empty position.
Here are seven things you need to know about the sexual harassment accusations made against Roger Ailes:
1. Setting off a firestorm, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson publicly accused Ailes of sexual harassment and unlawful firing after she reportedly rebuffed his sexual advances. She filed a lawsuit in July.
Carlson alleges that Mr. Ailes fired her from her hosting position as a final act of retaliation after she rebuffed her boss’ persistent sexual advances.
Allegedly, Ailes told Carlson that the two “should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago” in order to solve their “problems” and make things between them “good and better.”
“I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” Ailes allegedly said to Carlson in September, during a meeting in which Carlson was venting her frustration with current “discriminatory” conduct directed her way. According to the filed complaint, Ailes added, “Sometimes problems are easier to solve” in such a way.
The Fox News CEO was also accused of addressing Carlson with “frequent sexually-charged comments and conduct.” He allegedly called the former Fox News host a “man-hater” and ridiculed her for trying to “show up the boys.”
2. Following Carlson’s filed lawsuit, more than a dozen women apparently came forward to accuse Ailes of similar claims.
On July 9, just days after Carlson’s lawsuit hit the media, Gabriel Sherman, a reporter who has documented pre-Carlson claims of sexual harassment against Ailes, reported that “more than a dozen women have contacted Carlson’s New Jersey–based attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, and made detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Ailes over a 25-year period, dating back to the 1960s, when he was a producer on The Mike Douglas Show.”
Sherman interviewed six women who previously worked under Ailes, all claiming to be victims of his harassment. Former Republican National Committee field adviser Kellie Boyle and former model Marsha Callahan were included among those interviewed; the other four women used pseudonyms for purposes of anonymity.
3. Carlson and other women who have accused Ailes of sexual harassment reportedly have damning audio tape of such harassment.
Multiple women are allegedly claiming to have taped conversations with former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, documenting his harassment.
The damning allegations, if in fact real and used in court, could leave Ailes paying out a hefty eight-figure settlement to Carlson, reports New York Magazine.
4. Fox superstar Megyn Kelly allegedly accused Ailes of harassment, too.
The Kelly File’s Megyn Kelly, arguably the network’s biggest star, reportedly made accusations against her former boss. “According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail,” reported New York Magazine on July 19.
Kelly has neither confirmed nor denied the sources’ allegations.
5. Former The Five co-host Andrea Tantaros is the latest to publicly accuse Ailes of sexual harassment. Tantaros is also claiming that her complaints, dating back to 2015, were never addressed. Instead, she was punished and removed from Fox airwaves in April of this year.
As reported on Monday, Tantaros says that she was harassed by Ailes on numerous occasions, only to be punished through her removal from on-air appearances, and being pulled from her latest gig as a co-host on Fox’s noon show Outnumbered.
Tantaros is currently being paid by the network, though her on-air appearances have ceased.
“According to Tantaros’s account, Ailes began harassing her on August 12, 2014,” reports New York Magazine. “During a meeting in Ailes’s office, Ailes allegedly asked Tantaros to do ‘the twirl’ so he could see her figure. She refused.”
According to a legal representative of Tantaros, Ailes again harassed her in mid-December: “Ailes asked her to turn around, and then he said, ‘Come over here so I can give you a hug.’” Tantaros refused the advance.
In February 2015, Ailes allegedly asked the Fox employee “about her workout routine because her body ‘looked good’ and mentioning that she must ‘really look good in a bikini.’”
Tantaros filed a formal workplace harassment complaint on April 30, 2015. She says her complaints were used against her, being allegedly told: “Roger is a very powerful man;” it was also suggested that she “should not fight this.”
Fox claims that separation between Tantaros and the network stems from her new book Tied Up In Knots and her refusal to allow the network to vet it before it was published. Fox apparently disapproved of the cover showing the Fox employee with her arms tied above her head.
Tantaros has also accused “four Fox News male personalities—two on-air contributors, a correspondent, and a host—of inappropriate behavior.”
6. Some women at Fox News have come out in support of Ailes.
Fox News anchors and hosts have publicly gone to bat for their former boss, including On the Record’s Greta Van Susteren and The Five’s Kimberly Guilfoyle. Per Jezebel:
Greta Van Susteren noted that Ailes has never sexually harassed her. Maria Bartiromo told Variety, “It’s just not in keeping with what I know and my experience at Fox.” Kimberly Guilfoyle, who’s taken over Carlson’s show for now, told Ad Week she’s in “total disbelief,” adding, “This is a man who champions women.” Jeanine Pirro told The Wrap the allegations are “absurd.”Former anchor Kiran Chetry says she “never felt uncomfortable” around Ailes.
7. Ailes has responded to the allegations put forth by Carlson, calling them “false” and “defamatory,” and Fox News has denied the rush of similar accusations by other women at Fox News.
“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false,” said Ailes on July 6 through a statement. “This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, Fox News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11-year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Fox News also pushed back against the six other females buttressing Carlson’s allegations of harassment with their own similar claims.
Fox labeled all such claims as false, noting that some were made in reference to action allegedly made as far back as the 1960s, and adding that Carlson’s lawyers are “desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue.”