Earlier this week, the news broke that former Fox News host and author Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes. Since that news was reported and later confirmed by Carlson, the law firm representing the fired Fox host told CNN Money that at least 10 other women approached Carlson’s lawyer with similar claims.
Law firm that's repping Carlson says "at least 10" other women have called/emailed today, wanting to speak abt Ailes https://t.co/dA6TtLZsRn— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 6, 2016
Now, six of those women have spoken with New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman about their alleged experiences with Ailles.
Two of the women spoke on the record, while the other four, Sherman writes, refused because of "shame and fear of retribution."
"I didn’t tell my husband, it was so mortifying,” Marsha Callahan, a former model who claims Ailes harassed her in the late ‘60s, said.
Callahan, 73, told Sherman that shortly before Ailes became Richard Nixon’s media adviser, the then-producer called her to ask her about coming down to the "Mike Douglas Show" and "to make sure I wore a garter belt and stockings."
Here is how she described the alleged encounter:
So I go into his office and right away he says, ‘Sit on the sofa and lift your skirt up.’ I had to do these different poses. And then, I recall very clearly, he said he’d put me on the show but I needed to go to bed with him. I was a really shy girl, but I was a little cheeky so I said, ‘Oh yeah, you and who else?’ And he said, ‘Only me and a few of my select friends.’ I said, ‘Well, if you think I have star quality and you can make money off my looks, I don’t think it’d matter if I went to bed with you or not.’ And he said, ‘Oh, pretty girls like you are a dime a dozen.’
Former Republican National Committee field adviser Kellie Boyle was the other woman to speak about her alleged experience with Ailes on the record. Boyle, 54, said that back in 1989, her husband, who worked for CNBC, arranged for her meet Ailes, whom she looked up to "like a God." Boyle described her first encounter with Ailes as pleasant. But things took a turn, she claims, after she agreed to have dinner with him when they were in D.C. weeks later.
Here's what she says happened:
[W]e get in the car and that’s when he said, ‘You know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys.’ I was so taken aback. I said, ‘Gosh I didn’t know that. How would that work?’ I was trying to kill time because I didn’t know if he was going to attack me. I was just talking until I could get out of the car. He said, ‘That’s the way it works,’ and he started naming other women he’s had. He said that’s how all these men in media and politics work — everyone’s got their friend. I said, ‘Would I have to be friends with anybody else?’ And he said, ‘Well you might have to give a blowjob every once in a while.’ I told him I was going to have to think about this. He said, ‘No, if you don’t do it now, you know that means you won’t.’
The women who wished to remain anonymous shared similar accounts of the disturbing interactions they allegedly had with Ailes.
One woman, whom Sherman refers to by the pseudonym "Susan," claims she was only 16 when Ailes brought her into an office, locked the door, “proceeded to pull down his pants and very gingerly pull out his genitals and said, ‘Kiss them.'”
“I felt I was being used for his sexual satisfaction,” another woman said.
“I don’t remember his exact words, but his message was: If you want to make it in New York City in the TV business, you’re going to have to f*** me, and you’re going to do that with anyone I tell you to,” said another.
Ailes denied Carlson's allegations against him this week. He called the lawsuit “retaliatory” over Fox’s decision to let her go, and his attorneys dismissed it as a “shameless publicity campaign.”
Sherman wrote a biography of Ailes that details four separate accounts of sexual harassment reported by women who'd worked with the media mogul.
The Fox News chairman, for his part, stood by his previous statement, saying all of Carlson's allegations — and subsequent testimonies — are "false."
"It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false," network lawyer Barry Asen, an attorney with Epstein Becker and Green, said in a statement.