Ailes' Ugliest Legacy Is The 10 Women Who Publicly Accused Him Of Sexual Harassment

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Roger Ailes, the 77-year-old co-creator of Fox News, died Thursday. His legacy includes a running list of sexual harassment and coercion accusations that span his 50-plus-year career.

The public allegations first began when former “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson filed a damning lawsuit in July 2016 accusing Ailes of sexual harassment and sexism. Soon after, several current and former Fox employees, including big names like Megyn Kelly, came forward with stories of harassment and sexual coercion.

Ten women have publicly come forward with their personal accounts, while at least 20 women have privately accused Ailes of some form of workplace harassment, according to Carlson’s legal team. Some of those women spoke out about their experiences using pseudonyms to New York Magazine last July.

The accusations range in time from Ailes’ stint as an executive producer on “The Mike Douglas Show” in the 1960s up to his time as Fox News’ CEO in 2016. Ailes stepped down as CEO in July 2016 and was given a $40 million exit package, which was reportedly twice as much as the payout Carlson received.  

The allegations became the story of the summer in 2016, and events transpired quickly. Only 15 days after Carlson filed her initial lawsuit, Ailes stepped down from his position at Fox. 

Below, in chronological order, is a list of women who came forward to publicly accuse and hold accountable the late Ailes for his alleged sexual harassment. 

  • filed in July 2016, Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment and sexism. When Carlson attempted to address the discriminatory treatment in September 2015, Ailes allegedly told her: “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.” Carlson claimed that Ailes fired her in June 2016 for rebuffing his sexual advances and challenging a sexist newsroom culture. 

    Ailes’ response: The same day Carlson filed her lawsuit, Ailes released the below statement: 

    “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.” 

    When we found out: July 6, 2016

    When she says it happened: 2005 – 2016

  • allegedly told her that he could advance her career if she slept with him, New York Magazine reported on July 9, 2016. During this time, Ailes was a producer on “The Mike Douglas Show” and allegedly asked Callahan to wear a garter belt and stockings and lift up her skirt for him.

    Ailes’ response: Although Ailes did not publicly comment on Boyle’s accusation, his lawyer Barry Asen released a statement. Asen blamed Carlson’s initial accusations for these new allegations: “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. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.”

    When we found out: July 9, 2016

    When she says it happened: 
    1967 or 1968

  • Her account: Boyle spoke out in the same New York Magazine report in which Callahan told her story. Boyle, a former Republican National Committee field adviser, said that Ailes hit on her when she was 29 and married at the time. “You know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys,” Ailes allegedly told her. Ailes told Boyle she might need to give men blow jobs in order to succeed in her career, but she declined. The next day she lost a big work contract, which Boyle alleges was because she rebuffed Ailes’ advances. “I was really lost for a few years,” Boyle told Fortune on July 10, 2016. “I had my career taken away from me.”

    Ailes’ response: Although Ailes did not publicly comment on Boyle’s accusation, his lawyer Barry Asen released a statement. Asen blamed Carlson’s initial accusations for these new allegations: “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. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.” 

    When we found out: July 9, 2016 

    When she says it happened: 1989

  • Kelly allegedly told 21st Century Fox investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances when she was just starting out as a correspondent for Fox 10 years prior. In her recent memoir, Kelly wrote that Ailes made inappropriate advances, commenting on her “very sexy bras” and “how he’d like to see [her] in them.” He also tried to grab and kiss her, and later threatened to fire her if she did not comply.

    Ailes’ response: “I categorically deny the allegations Megyn Kelly makes about me. I worked tirelessly to promote and advance her career, as Megyn herself admitted to Charlie Rose. Watch that interview and then decide for yourself,” Ailes said in a statement to People Magazine on November 15, 2016. “My attorneys have restricted me from commenting further — so suffice it to say that no good deed goes unpunished.”

    When we found out: Initial accusations on July 19, 2016; details from her book on November 3, 2016

    When she says it happened: 2005 – 2006

  • told The New York Times she was fired for complaining about sexual harassment from then-Fox News Washington bureau chief Brian Wilson. Similar to other accusations, Bakhtiar said Ailes also behaved inappropriately, asking her to stand during a job interview so he could see her legs and sending her miniskirts to wear at work.

    Ailes’ response: None from Ailes, Fox News or parent company 21st Century Fox.

    When we found out: July 23, 2016

    When she says it happened: 2007

  •  New York Magazine on July 29, 2016. Luhn was among the few women who said she had given in to Ailes’ demands, knowing he could help her career.

    Ailes’ response: “Ms. Luhn is someone I once regarded as a friend and a person who I helped for many years,” Ailes wrote in a statement to ABC News in November 18, 2016. “The stories she is telling now are fabrications built on half-truths and outright lies, and I can only assume are opportunistically intended to thrust her back into the limelight at my expense.”

    When we found out:
    July 29, 2016

    When she says it happened: 1996 – 2016

  • said that Ailes asked if she was wearing underwear while she was jumping with his then 6-year-old son at a barbecue in New Jersey. “Are you wearing any panties? I wish you weren’t,” Ailes allegedly asked Dhue.  

    Ailes’ response: No public response.

    When we found out:
    August 2, 2016

    When she says it happened:
    Sometime during her tenure at Fox News between 2000 and 2008.

  • filed August 2016, former Fox News host Tantaros claimed that Ailes is a “sexual predator” who made inappropriate sexual comments about her body and requested she hug him and twirl for him in his office. In the lawsuit, Tantaros named other Fox News male colleagues who sexually harassed her, including Bill O’Reilly. She called Fox News a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.” After Tantaros complained about Ailes and Fox News’ misogynistic culture, she said she was demoted and taken off the air.

    Ailes’ response: While Ailes did not publicly comment on the accusations, Fox News’ lawyers called Tantaros an “opportunist” and said her lawsuit “bears all the hallmarks of the ‘wannabe.’”

    When we found out:
    August 8, 2016

    When she says it happened: 2014 – 2016

  • The Daily Beast in August 2016, Ross details the sexual harassment she experienced on “The Tomorrow Show” from Roger Ailes. Ross wrote that Ailes proposed a “sexual alliance” while she worked on the show.

    Ailes’ response: None.

    When we found out: August 8, 2016

    When she says it happened: 1981

  • Her account: In a lawsuit filed in April of this year, the Fox News commentator accused Ailes of sexual harassment, which included propositioning her to go on a date and requiring that she “bend down to kiss him hello” in meetings.

    Ailes’ response: In a statement to the New York Times on April 3, 2017, Ailes’ attorney Susan Estrich said Ailes “viciously denies” Roginsky’s allegations, adding: “Her interactions with Mr. Ailes were not even close to the fictional version she wants people to believe now.”

    When we found out: April 3, 2017

    When she says it happened: 2015

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