Gretchen Carlson has spoken out for the first time since filing a lawsuit against her former employer.
Last week, as previously reported, the former Fox & Friends co-host sued Fox News Chariman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.
In her legal documents, Carlson alleged that Ailes propositioned her for sex and then punished her afterward once she turned him down.
One portion of Carlson’s suit reads as follows:
“Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against [her] and sabotaged her career because she refused sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”
Now, in an interview with The New York Times, Carlson says part of the reason why she took this step was to stand up for other women who have faced similar scenarios in the workplace.
“I just wanted to stand up for myself, first and foremost,” Carlson tells the newspaper, adding:
“And I wanted to stand up for other women who maybe faced similar circumstances.”
Ailes has strongly denied all charges.
He says Carlson was fired from Fox & Friends in 2013 due to a ratings drop and then let go entirely from Fox News last month due to poor performance.
“This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously,” Ailes said in response a few days ago.
In a statement that refers to Carlson’s lawyer, meanwhile, a Fox News spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, said:
“Between chasing ambulances and headlines, the truth seems to have been run over by Nancy Erika Smith.”
That’s a pretty good line, anyone has to admit.
Carlson worked at Fox News for 11 years. She tells The Times here that she had had six to 10 meetings with Ailes during her tenure at Fox in order to discuss his “continuous” sexist language.
“Everyone knew how powerful Roger Ailes was. I certainly felt intimidated by that,” Carlson added.
Since Carlson went public with these accusations, six other women have come out and made similar allegations.
One says she was working at Fox News as a 16-year old when Ailes exposed his testicles to her and told her to “kiss them.” She refused, running out of his office in tears.
When asked what she hoped to achieve by bringing this lawsuit, Carlson didn’t need to consult with her attorneys to give an answer.
“To stand up for what happened to me and what was the truth,” she said.
It’s also worth noting that Carlson has named former colleague Steve Doocy in her suit.
She claims that he “regularly treat[ed] her in a sexist and condescending way” when they worked together, “engaging in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment” that was akin to treating her as “a blond female prop.”
Carlson is seeking an undisclosed monetary figure for “lost compensation, damaged career path, damage to reputation and pain and suffering damages.”