CNN Reports That 10 Women Have Contacted Law Firm About Treatment Under Roger Ailes
Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter: “I Want To Be Careful With That Though Because That Doesn't Mean They Are Alleging Anything”
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From the June 6 edition of CNN's The Lead:
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JIM SCIUTTO (GUEST HOST): Long time Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson is suing her former boss and chairman of the network Roger Ailes, alleging a pattern of sexual harassment. Carlson had been with Fox since 2005, claimed that she was terminated last month after rejecting Ailes' own repeated sexual propositions. Let's get right to CNN's senior media correspondent, host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter. Brian, really an alarming series of allegations contained in this lawsuit. Can you walk us through what she says happened?
BRIAN STELTER: In this lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson, who was the 2:00 PM host until just a few days ago, when she disappeared from the airwaves. She said over time there was a pattern of sexual advances and sexual innuendo from Roger Ailes, the top boss of Fox News, really the man in charge of the network ever since it launched 20 years ago. Here is one of the quotes from the lawsuit, the eight page filing today. It quotes Ailes as saying to Carlson, allegedly, quote, "I think you and I should have have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better." He went on to say, according to this suit, "Sometimes problems are easier to solve when there is a sexual relationship like that." Now she said those comments, which were allegedly made last September, were the final straw, so to speak. That there were comments over a course of years and that she was retaliated against because she would not have sex with him or not engage in this kind of behavior with him. Her contract expired on June 23rd, and that's when she was terminated. She says she was let go because she avoided his sexual advances.
SCIUTTO: Now, has Ailes responded to this yet?
STELTER: He has not. It's been about six hours, five hours that is. Fox has been uncharacteristically silent today. Ailes himself has not commented. The network is not covering this news, of course, coming very close to home. This is a story that could have big ramifications for Fox News because Ailes has been in charge ever since it launched. You could say he rules the network with an iron fist. And he is beloved by a lot of staffers there, but he is not known for being politically correct. And I do wonder if in the days and weeks to come we'll hear from other women who might corroborate Carlson's story. In fact, I just spoke with one of the attorneys involved in Carlson's suit. They say that ten women have called the law firm today, wanting to speak with the law firm because they say they also have stories to share about treatment by Roger Ailes. I want to be careful with that though because that doesn't mean they are alleging anything, any wrongdoing, and they are not suing, Right now it is only Carlson who is suing.