The New York Times reported today that Fox News president Roger Ailes is identified in affidavits as the News Corp. executive who allegedly encouraged one of his colleagues to lie to federal investigators who were vetting Bernard Kerik's nomination to lead the Department of Homeland Security:
It was an incendiary allegation -- and a mystery of great intrigue in the media world: After the publishing powerhouse Judith Regan was fired by HarperCollins in 2006, she claimed that a senior executive at its parent company, News Corporation, had encouraged her to lie to federal investigators two years before.
The investigators had been vetting Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who had been nominated to become secretary of Homeland Security and who had had an affair with Ms. Regan.
The goal of the News Corporation executive, according to Ms. Regan, was to keep the affair quiet and protect the then-nascent presidential aspirations of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Kerik's mentor and supporter.
But Ms. Regan never revealed the identity of the executive, even as her allegation made headlines and she brought a wrongful termination suit against HarperCollins and News Corporation.
But now, affidavits filed in a separate lawsuit reveal the identity of the previously unnamed executive: Roger E. Ailes, chairman of Fox News.
What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discusses her relationship with Mr. Kerik.
The Times further reported:
In a statement released on Wednesday, a News Corporation spokeswoman did not deny that Mr. Ailes was the executive on the recording.
But the spokeswoman, Teri Everett, said that News Corporation has a letter from Ms. Regan "stating that Mr. Ailes did not intend to influence her with respect to a government investigation."
"The matter is closed," Ms. Everett said.
Ms. Everett declined to release the letter, and Ms. Regan's lawyer, Robert E. Brown, said the News Corporation's description of the letter did not represent Ms. Regan's complete statement.