Gretchen Carlson, formerly one of Fox News’s most popular anchors, has filed a lawsuit against CEO Roger Ailes, alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment, according to Politico.
The complaint, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, claims Ailes made “sexually charged comments” to Carlson, including “lewd innuendo, ogling and remarks about Ms. Carlson’s body to demands for sex as a way for her to improve her job standing.”
This isn’t the first time Ailes has landed in hot water for treatment of female employees. A 2014 unauthorized biography of the CEO, by New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, alleges that Ailes offered a female news producer an extra $100 a week if she agreed to have sex with him whenever he wanted. Fox denied Sherman’s claims at the time.
Carlson’s lawyers. who spoke with Politico, said her contract was terminated on June 23, though neither Carlson nor Fox News publicly acknowledged the split until now:
In a statement sent to reporters, Carlson said:
“Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace. I am extremely proud of my accomplishments at Fox News and for keeping our loyal viewers engaged and informed on events and news topics of the day.”
An official statement made by Roger Ailes denies the allegations in full:
“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.”
This post has been updated.