Name: Roger Ailes
Role: Chairman and CEO of Fox News for 20 years
Accusations: First Gretchen Carlson, then Megyn Kelly, accused Ailes of sexual harassment early in their careers. They were followed by some 20 other women.
The Justice Department opened an investigation into Fox News in February, 2017. They’re looking into whether Fox News failed to inform shareholders about the massive settlements that were being paid out for these sexual harassment suits for Ailes and O’Reilly.
Company Reaction: Carlson settled with 21st Century Fox for $20 million
Ailes’s Response:Ailes denied the accusations and called it a “retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract.”
Roger Ailes died May 18, 2017 at the age of 77.
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Gretchen Carlson sued Roger Ailes in June, 2016, claiming she had been fired for refusing Ailes’ unwanted sexual advances. While Carlson ultimately settled her lawsuit for $20 million, she also opened the floodgates of women who began coming forward with stories of harassment and assault by not just Roger Ailes but also Bill O’Reilly. One of the women to come forward was Megyn Kelly, who at the time was one of Fox News’s biggest stars.
What ultimately was revealed was that there had been a pervasive culture of not just harassing and assaulting women, but also actively silencing them. Numerous Fox News executives have been accused of having been complicit in the harassment schemes of Ailes and O’Reilly.
But sexual harassment turns out to be the least of Fox News’ problems. The Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether the network has been truthful with shareholders about the huge settlements it has been paying out for these harassment lawsuits. That investigation in turn has led to a second investigation, which is still ongoing, into whether crimes such as wire fraud were also committed.
Money.CNN.com, by Brian Stelter
July 8 2016
NYMag.com, by Gabriel Sherman
July 19, 2016
Ailes was forced to resign within a matter of weeks. However he was slated to receive in excess of $40 million, the amount due on his multi-year contract with Fox. There was much speculation about Ailes’ options, post-Fox. One was to join the Donald Trump campaign. However, Ailes died just a month after stepping down from Fox.
Money.CNN.com, by Brian Stelter
July 21, 2016
Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News host, files a lawsuit against Roger Ailes on July 6, 2016. In it, she claimed she was terminated for refusing Ailes’ unwanted sexual advances. Ailes denies the allegations, but ultimately settles with Carlson for $20 million on Sept 6, 2016.
Instead of joining the pro-Ailes voices, Kelly, one of Fox News’s biggest stars at the time, came out publicly with accusations that Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade earlier.
While most of Ailes’ accusers rebuffed his advances, Luhn gave in to him; resulting in a sexual involvement with Ailes that listed many years. Despite this fact, she says she felt “psychologically tortured” by what he did to her.
Read Luhn’s lurid tale for yourself, to understand how such a thing could be possible.
“Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that she was sexually harassed by former network chief Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. The suit, which describes Fox News as a misogynistic, sex-fueled cult, also alleges that newly appointed Fox News co-president Bill Shine encouraged her to drop her harassment claims.”
Read more: Money.CNN.com, by Dylan Byers, Aug 23, 2016
(this one is about Bill O’Reilly)
Roger Ailes resigns from Fox News.