As is often the case when it comes to a public figure being accused of sexual harassment, one allegation can open the floodgates for others. That appears to be the case for Fox News Head Roger Ailes, who was accused of sexual harassment by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson earlier this week, after she was terminated on June 23rd. Carlson alleged that Ailes tried to pressure her into having sex with the now 76 year old and claims that refusing to do so resulted in her demotion and later termination.
Six more women have now come forward alleging they were sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, although the allegations themselves are unlikely to be actionable in court because the events among the women occured between 1965 and 1989, outside of the statute of limitations. However, the allegations might be used by Carlson in her suit against Ailes to prove a pattern of behavior. In any event, the additional allegations are likely to harm the already faltering reputation of Ailes and Fox News.
The six accounts were all published in New York magazine. One account, from a former model using a pseudonym, claims that Ailes demaned oral sex from her when she was 16 and set to appear on The Mike Douglas Show, which Ailes was producing at the time.
“He proceeded to pull down his pants and very gingerly pull out his genitals and said, ‘Kiss them’ … I jumped up, but the door is locked and nobody’s out there. He chased me around the office and at some point it dawned on him that this just wasn’t going to happen. He finally pulled up his trousers. He was very angry and rushed over to his desk, pulled open a door and had a reel-to-reel tape recorder going. He said to me, ‘Don’t tell anybody about this. I’ve got it all on tape.’”