Gretchen Carlson shocked fans on Wednesday morning when she announced on her Facebook page that she is no longer with FOX News. Carlson, who was the host of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson did not say much in her announcement. She simply confirmed that she is no longer with the network and told fans how she could be reached. CNN, however, learned the likely reason behind Carlson’s departure.
Carlson alleges that she experienced constant and pervasive sexual harassment from FOX News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. She also said she was the victim of his retaliation when she refused his advances.
A lawsuit against Roger Ailes was announced around the same time Carlson made her announcement on Facebook.
The lawsuit alleges that Ailes repeatedly “injected sexual and/or sexist comments” into conversations; made “sexual advances by various means;” and said to her last September, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
The suit says Carlson requested the September meeting because she was seeking to “bring to an end the retaliatory and discriminatory treatment she had endured.”
Instead, the suit alleges, the “retaliation” continued through June, when her contract was not renewed.
There has been no response by Ailes regarding this lawsuit.
In a statement, Carlson shared why she decided to take legal action against Ailes.
“I have strived to empower women and girls throughout my entire career. Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace.”
Carlson also lodged allegations of misogynistic behavior by FOX & Friends’ co-host, Steve Doocy.
Ailes isn’t the only major figure at Fox News named in the suit, either: Carlson also alleges that Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy regularly demeaned her in the workplace by “mocking her during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show.” She claims Doocy attempted “to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop.”
Attorney Nancy Erika Smith, of the firm Smith Mullin, is representing Gretchen Carlson and said she is very confident in their evidence. She also shared that other women may also testify about sexual harassment from Ailes as well.
Read the full lawsuit below.