More Carlson vs. Ailes…
CNN’s Brian Stelter writes about the latest in the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit…
But Ailes said in a Wednesday evening statement that the 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,” he said. “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.”
Earlier in the day, Carlson’s attorney Nancy Erika Smith, of the firm Smith Mullin, told CNNMoney that the lawsuit “didn’t begin with her termination.”
Smith asserted that Ailes’ harassment was “very consistent and very pervasive.”
In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, “at least ten” other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.
Smith emphasized that Carlson is only suing Ailes, not the network, but the lawsuit also describes “sexist” treatment from a fellow Fox host, Steve Doocy.
Just before Ailes spoke out, his bosses — Rupert Murdoch and the two Murdoch sons who run 21st Century Fox — issued a corporate statement.
“The Company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy,” the statement said. “We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter.”
The Murdochs had no further comment.
Earlier, The Huffington Post’s Michelle Fields, added further color to the story…
Some Fox News on-air personalities are unsurprised by the news that former host Gretchen Carlson has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.
“We thought it would happen after she was taken off of ‘Fox & Friends,’” said one Fox News source who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “She kept quiet because Roger gave her the afternoon show, but everyone at Fox knew it was eventually coming. He hated her and would tell people that she was ‘a crazy, vindictive bitch.’”
Other sources inside Fox confirmed that Carlson had first threatened to file the lawsuit after Ailes removed her as a host of “Fox & Friends.” But sources say Carlson held off on filing a suit when Ailes agreed to give her the afternoon show.
I think we’ve seen the last of Fields’ appearances on FNC after this story.
Still to come: Whatever Gabriel Sherman, who was caught out of position on a flight back from Europe, has to write about this story…