Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine reports today that the FoxNews anchor Kelly has told 21st Century Fox of an incident ten years ago with CEO Roger Ailes, and the company has now asked for the cable news channel CEO's resignation.
The latest report from Gabriel Sherman, National Affairs Editor at New York magazine, may be the final revelation that ends the career of FoxNews CEO Roger Ailes.
“According to two sources briefed on parent company,” Sherman writes, “21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances towards 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.
Update: Reports are that Roger Ailes is leaving the network, complete with a $40 million buyout package.
The NY Daily News’s Don Kaplan had speculated just two days ago about why Megyn Kelly had remains silent concerning the accusations of sexual harassment against Ailes. Kaplan speculated that Kelly was remaining silent because she was angry about other matters.
“While Ailes has groomed her for years to be star — and defended her repeatedly against Trump’s vicious, sexist attacks last year — Kelly may still be miffed about how Ailes’ didn’t curb others at Fox, especially Bill O’Reilly,” Kaplan wrote. “Her hands-on boss famously keeps everyone at Fox on a tight leash, although O’Reilly has always managed to march to his own drum.”
The investigation by media company investigators comes after the firing of anchor Grechen Carlson, and the filing of a sexual harassment lawsuit. Several other former TV people have come out to support Carlson’s accusations, while a number of FoxNews personalities have come to the defense of their boss. But Kelly has remained silent, but has now, if reports are correct, told the company her own story and it may be the end of the line for Ailes.
“According to two sources, yesterday afternoon lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Ailes a deadline of August 1st to resign or face being fired for cause,” Sherman wrote for New York magazine’s website. “Ailes’s legal team, which now includes Susan Estrich, former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis, has yet to respond to the offer.”
Sherman wrote a biography of Roger Ailes, published in 2014, entitled <em>The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News–and Divided a Country, and has been on this story from the start.
Earlier this month Sherman reported that six women had come forward to support Carlson’s accusations with their own stories of harassment:
“I didn’t tell my husband, it was so mortifying,” said Marsha Callahan, a former model who says Ailes harassed her in the late ’60s, shortly before he would become Richard Nixon’s media adviser.
Lawyers for the FoxNews CEO immediately released a statement to the press, including PoliMedia stating 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.”
Update: the Financial Times is reporting that “Roger Ailes is heading for the exit at Fox News Channel.” But there is something else:
“However, the likely departure of the former aide to Richard Nixon who defied the odds when he launched Fox News 20 years ago could present a big problem for the Murdochs. Three of Fox News’ biggest stars — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren — have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave the network, the two people briefed on the dispute said.”