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.’”
A former television producer also told New York magazine that Ailes told her that if she wanted “to make it in New York City in the TV business, you’re going to have to f**k me, and you’re going to do that with anyone I tell you to.” Kellie Boyle, a former Republican National Committee field adviser, told the publication that Ailes told her in 1989 that if she wanted “to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys.”
In a statement emailed to Uproxx, Ailes’ lawyer denies the new allegations reported by New York.
“It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue,” Barry Asen of Epstein Becker & Green said. “The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.”
The additional allegations surfaced as Ailes and Fox News were attempting to discredit Carlson by posting handwritten notes she wrote expressing happiness about working for the network. Moreover, Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren — who has been with the network for 15 years — came to Ailes defense yesterday, saying that the “facts I know are that this is not the Roger Ailes I’ve ever heard about or seen.”
Fox News is also trying to force Gretchen Carlson to settle the matter in arbitration to avoid a public trial. Carlson, through her attorneys, is refusing.
(via NY Mag)