Roger Ailes out at Fox News after Megyn Kelly claims he harassed her too


On Monday, New York Magazine had another exclusive on the ongoing Roger Ailes saga. Two weeks ago, Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News and Ailes in particular. Carlson claimed that Ailes had a disgusting history of harassing her and saying grossly inappropriate things to her about her job, her attitude and her appearance. Last week, we learned that Fox News corporate (the Murdoch family) had hired an outside investigator to look into Ailes. We also heard that Ailes likely has a long-ass history of this kind of lecherous behavior. So, on Monday, New York Mag reported that Ailes is almost definitely on the way out. Rupert Murdoch’s sons Lachlan and James were forcing Ailes out by hook or by crook – go here to read the story.

The story was all very media-insidery and I understand why people weren’t paying too much attention. But maybe people will care if we bring the shining star of the Fox News network into the mix? While nearly every major personality on Fox News has said something positive about Roger Ailes following Carlson’s lawsuit, anchor Megyn Kelly has stayed quiet. She’s been quiet – publicly – this whole time. And now people are saying that’s because she’s been in contact with the outside investigator and she’s got her own terrible Roger Ailes story.

According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Megyn Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail.

Kelly’s comments to investigators might explain why the Murdochs are moving so quickly to oust Ailes. Kelly, who has become something of a feminist icon thanks to her tangles with GOP nominee Donald Trump, is seen by many inside Fox as the future of the network. She’s currently in contract negotiations, and given that Bill O’Reilly has said he’s considering retirement, Fox can’t afford to lose her.

According to two sources, Monday afternoon lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or face being fired for cause. Ailes’s legal team — which now includes Susan Estrich, former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis — has yet to respond to the offer. Ailes has also received advice on strategy from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, sources say.

Ailes’s strategy so far has included attacking Kelly in the press. According to sources, Ailes spokesperson Irena Briganti has been criticizing Kelly to reporters, saying she is selfish to not stand up for the man who gave her career opportunities. Roughly a dozen Fox women have praised Ailes since Carlson filed her suit. According to a Fox source, the pro-Ailes campaign has been led by Fox anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has filled in hosting Carlson’s former 2 p.m. time slot.

[From New York Mag]

Even though I think this whole thing is a huge power struggle between white men (the Murdochs versus Ailes), I do have to give some begrudging props to Lachlan and James Murdoch for going out of their way to give the women of Fox News a safe place to air their complaints and grievances and to offer statements about Ailes’ gross and predatory behavior. Not only that, but the Murdoch sons are taking the women at their word. They took Carlson’s lawsuit seriously, they’re taking Megyn Kelly seriously (as in, they want to retain her on-air talent and they’ll do what it takes to keep her), and they’re taking all of these complaints seriously.

And just hours after New York Mag ran this Kelly story, Roger Ailes is out. According to multiple sources, Ailes is taking a $40 million buy-out, although there is some mixed reporting on this. I’ll update if and when there are changes.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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49 Responses to “Roger Ailes out at Fox News after Megyn Kelly claims he harassed her too”

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  1. Crowdhood says:

    The local “news outlet” where I live houses the most despicable online trolls. There were WAY too many “she did a maxim shoot she’s
    No shrinking violet” comments to stomach. I had to defend Megyn Kelly, you guys. And I had to google how to spell her dumb name
    Because I couldn’t give them any leverage. You know the kind.

    • Esmom says:

      Ah, they must be related to the trolls on my local paper. Some of the most vile creatures you will ever encounter. I stopped trying to engage, good for you for your attempts.

      And great news about Ailes. But don’t get me started to on the facts-disregarding cesspool that is Fox News.

    • sherry says:

      I’m with you! I clicked on a link about the story and it took me to Breitbart. The misogyny is strong there! I could only read about 4 comments before I felt like my head was going to explode right off my neck.

      It’s scary to think I’m walking around with people who think like those commenting. Don’t they have wives, mothers, daughters and sisters? Would they be so despicable if it happened to someone they love?

  2. Talie says:

    What a gross toad…ugh.

    • delorb says:

      That’s the first word that came to my mind too. Gross. I once had a guy make smacking sounds at my breasts. Why he thought this would make me want to date or sleep with him, is mind-boggling. Absolutely mind-boggling.

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I am grudgingly impressed with Murdoch. But this hideous harassing troll gets a $45 million buyout. Sigh.

    • Intuitive says:

      It sounds like a positive outcome, but NOTHING the Murdoch men do is out of altruism or morality- it is ALWAYS about business, money and power for them. They are all bullies and psychopaths.

      • Miss Melissa says:

        Which means Carlsen’s lawsuit has merit and Ailes did harass Kelly and they want him to just go away.

      • mary s says:

        I read that the Murdochs wanted to implement certain changes at Fox, but Ailes was resisting. They already wanted him out, and I think the accusation was seen as a good excuse. That’s also maybe why she only went after him, not the entire organization. She get a new position when the new leadership has taken the helm.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        She can still sue him on her own and I hope she does. If she got even half of that 40 million, I would laugh in that nasty jabba’s face!

      • Melbelle says:

        @mary s is right. They’ve wanted him gone for a while and now this is their opportunity. I think it actually has little to do with their concern about Ailes’ harassment.

    • almondmilk says:

      Fox News and Murdochs may not be responsible for all the evils in the world, but a good chunk of them can be laid at that propaganda channel’s doorstep.

      Ailes is getting the 45 mil (reportedly) he’s getting because he knows where ALL the Fox bodies are buried, mainly because a lot of them are his and he’s buried those and all the rest. He could write several books. A veritable Encyclopedia Brittanica of Fox horrors.

      That said. Dude is 76. He might say eff it. Just to destroy Fox. I’m really surprised that’s all he’s getting for that reason alone. Fox, who’ll have to pay thru the nose for Carlson and anyone else that comes along will end up with loose change in their pockets. But hey Murdochs can afford it.

      Which brings me to…Elizabeth Hasselbeck. I always thought her leaving Fox less than a couple yrs after she arrived was indicative of more than just her using the ol’ ‘i want to spend more time with my family bull.’ I really have to wonder if she was being pressured by Ailes to do certain things to ‘advance,’ her career and she (ahem) declined and thus her career stayed stagnant/ended on the couch in the morning with those two bone heads.

      • Melly says:

        I doubt that Ailes will want to destroy Fox News because he pretty much created it. He feels like it’s his legacy.

      • Bridget says:

        Ailes essentially turned Fox News into the propaganda arm of the far right Republican Party. I have a hard time seeing him try to take the whole thing down, just because he views it as having a bigger purpose. BUT I also wouldn’t bet against him holding a grudge.

        And yes, I do find it interesting that Hasselbeck bailed on Fox so quickly.

  4. lilacflowers says:

    Just some legal points, by law, corporations over a certain size must have a policy on sexual harassment and that policy must include a complaint process and an investigation process that investigates all complaints. There can be no retaliation for filing a complaint, and retaliation actually can incur far bigger penalties than the actual harassment or discrimination. The judge in Carlson’s case will want to know that they investigated Carlson’s case and what the findings of the investigation were. The Murdoch boys aren’t having an investigation out of the kindness of their hearts for their female employees; they are doing it because they are legally bound to do so and will suffer consequences in Carlson’s case if they don’t.

    As for Megyn Kelly, there are statutes of limitations on sexual harassment cases and unless she can show ongoing harassment with incidents occurring within the last year, she no longer has any cause of action on stuff that may have happened years ago. Although the Murdochs can take it into consideration with whatever they’re planning to do.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Thanks for the insight into the legalities of this case Lilac.

    • GingerNYC says:

      I agree re: the Murdoch boys & their motivations but neither they nor Fox are named in the lawsuit, only Ailes. So there are no consequences for them per se from Carlson’s suit.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Buzz words to use if you’re in a company and facing sexual harrassment: Hostile work environment, bullying, sexual harrassment, harrassment. Any of those words mandate an immediate investigation.

  5. Birdix says:

    I’d like the details on why he’s getting a $40 mill buyout.

  6. Daisyfly says:

    He gets $40 million to harass women.

    We get. 78¢ on the dollar to be one.

  7. Trollongheloose says:

    The Murdochs had to do something after the whole News of the World debacle. It costed them dearly. It took them years to recover.

  8. bee says:

    This disgusting man is widely known in the industry as a sexual harasser but he always had the power to get away with it. I worked for CNN 20 years ago and whenever he was a guest on the show for which I worked, he sexually harassed all the female interns and underlings. Makes my stomach churn just looking at him.

    • HappyMom says:

      Gross. I was thinking if he’s done it to the “big stars” I’m sure he’s doing it to all the other women who work there too. And they were afraid to say anything.

      • bee says:

        Exactly right. Everyone from unpaid interns to make-up artists on up had to deal with his unwanted advances. And he wasn’t the only one.

  9. mia girl says:

    So glad Jabba the Hut’s reign at Fox is coming to an end.

    But I worry he’ll go off and form his own media outlet with Trump. They are buddies afterall.

  10. Stacy says:

    Roger Ailes a sexist pig? I don’t believe it. And in other news, 2+2=4. My apologies to real pigs for the insult.

  11. Jenns says:

    I don’t know if the Murdoch’s are taking women at their word, or they just see this as an opportunity to make their move to fire Roger Alies. According to reports, they’ve wanted him gone for a long time.

    It’s also been reported that they want to make Fox News less right-wing(I think on of the Murdochs has supported Clinton), so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  12. Tig says:

    Wouldn’t all this be separate from Carlson’s lawsuit? She sued him, not Fox. I think I read an article re his buy-out which implied Fox would cover his legal fees- and this in addition to $40M. I really believe the Murdochs wanted him gone, and this is convenient cover. I have no doubt he has sexually harassed women with impunity for decades. However, sad as it is to say this, that’s not why he’s gone. Hope someone digs a bit deeper on this one.

    • Daisyfly says:

      When she wins her suit, Fox then becomes liable by being his employer. By letting him go now, they’re basically absolving themselves of guilt by saying, “we got rid of him as soon as we got confirmation.” It’s an ass-saving move but sets up the argument for plausible deniability which is a common ploy by companies and employers.

      • Tig says:

        Not so sure about that one tho- usually, you sue the employer, not the individual. The employer allowed/turned a blind eye to the sexual harassment, thereby creating a hostile work environment. You sue individual first, you then give company a road map to
        their defensive strategy if in turn come back to sue it. All that being said, still think there’s more stuff that went down.

      • GingerNYC says:

        That’s definitely one thing I don’t understand about this case, Carlson not going for the ‘deep pockets’ of Fox & the Murdochs. There must be some back room deal behind it because that’s the first rule of civil claims, go where the money is.

  13. Stella in NH says:

    Ailes gives me the Jabba the Hut feel. Everytime I see his photo, I think I need to take a shower.

  14. QQ says:

    I KNOW i’m supposed to parse their politics and being women and not deserving this but then I remember ALLLLLLLLL the gross offensive dog whistly, mysoginistic crap a NUMBER of these horrible chicks have gone to bat for and I feel like…. EHHHGGNNNN Smallest Violin ever

    • GingerNYC says:

      QQ: We been playing that super small violin from the jump lol

    • HH says:

      This here caught me: ” Kelly, who has become something of a feminist icon thanks to her tangles with GOP nominee Donald Trump” >>> I’m scheduling a doctor’s appt now due to injuries sustained from that MASSIVE EYE ROLL.

  15. Bridget says:

    I am really not a Megyn Kelly fan, but I can at least acknowledge that woman has balls.

  16. thaisajs says:

    The Murdoch bros aren’t being altruistic here to the women of Fox News. Years ago, when Lachlan was a senior exec at Fox, he got into a fight with Ailes and lost. He got so pissed he left the company and went back to Australia to start his own company. He was gone for years. He only came back into the fold after the UK phone-tapping disaster.

    For all of their in-fighting, Murdochs stick together and when Ailes conquered Lachlan, the die was cast. Ailes is a lecherous old git and they were looking for an excuse to get rid of him. The fact that Megyn Kelly got to stick a knife in the old codger is just sweet justice.

  17. The Old KC says:

    Please, please, please retire, Bill O’Reilly!!!! THAT can’t happen a moment too soon…