Former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson Sues CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment

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Gretchen Carlson will no longer arrive on television screens under the Fox News brand. The former Real Story host broke from the network on June 23, and the shocking reason for her departure now surfaces. Carlson has filed a sexual harassment suit against Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. She alleges that one of the most powerful men in media made sexual demands, which she refused, and Carlson’s legal complaint states that Ailes effectively “ended her career.”

Carlson, who has been with Fox News since 2005 and is also a former Miss America, claims that Ailes dismissed her after nine months of harassment. He reportedly told her that he could make her “problems” go away if they entered into a sexual relationship. The Wrap has received a copy of Carlson’s legal complaint, and here are some quotes:

Carlson claims that Ailes “sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive harassment.” According to the lawsuit, Ailes once said to Carlson: “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.”

The suit claims that Ailes terminated Carlson “as a direct and proximate result” of the host denying his sexual advances and the loss of employment has caused “significant economic, emotional and professional harm.”

Carlson is asking for a trial by jury, and her suit also includes allegations about Fox and Friends‘ Steve Doocy. Carlson claims that Doocy treated her in a sexist manner back in 2009, and when she told Ailes, he told her to “get along with the boys.”

She also alleges that Ailes prevented her from being paid fairly and advancing further in her career because of her refusal. After news of the lawsuit broke, Carlson took to Facebook with a very brief statement: “As you may have heard, I am no longer with Fox News. I value your support and friendship, especially now, so please stay in touch with me.”

UPDATE – Fox News has issued the following statement from Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes:

“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. 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.”

(Via The Wrap)