Fox News fans were stunned yesterday when host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against network CEO Roger Ailes claiming that she was fired last month for refusing to sleep with him.
In her lawsuit, Carlson, 50, claimed that 75 year-old Ailes fired her on June 23 after 11 years with the network because she refused to have sex with him. Ailes fired back with a statement of his own Wednesday night in which he denied the allegations and said Carlson only filed the suit because her contract was not being renewed.
“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,” Ailes said, according to Daily Mail. “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,” he added. “This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
In her court filing, Carlson wrote that she went to Ailes’ office in September to talk about the discriminatory practices she was seeing at work. There, she claims that Ailes 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.”
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