Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fox News, Roger Ailes Hit With New Lawsuit

Nearly nine months after Roger Ailes was ousted from his position as chairman of Fox News Channel, another woman has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against him and the network.

Julie Roginsky
On Monday, Julie Roginsky, a current Fox News contributor, filed a 17-page suit in New York State Supreme Court against Mr. Ailes, Fox News and Bill Shine, the network’s co-president, asserting that she faced retaliation for rebuffing Mr. Ailes’s sexual advances and for refusing to disparage Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host who sued Mr. Ailes last summer.

The new suit adds to Fox News’s woes at a time when it is trying to move past the sexual harassment crisis that engulfed the network last year. The network recently reached a settlement valued at more than $2.5 million, according to people briefed on the agreement, with a former contributor named Tamara Holder, who said she was sexually assaulted by a senior manager in his office. Also, the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan is looking into how Fox News structures its settlements, an inquiry disclosed in a court hearing in February by the lawyer for a former Fox employee suing the company.

Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Ms. Roginsky’s suit.

Roger Ailes
Susan R. Estrich, a lawyer for Mr. Ailes, said that he “vociferously denies her allegations.” She called the assertions in Ms. Roginsky’s suit “hogwash” and said that the suit was a “copycat complaint.”

In the complaint, Ms. Roginsky stated that Mr. Ailes made sexist comments and unwanted sexual advances toward her during one-on-one meetings in his office, including requiring that she “bend down to kiss him hello” when he sat in a low armchair and telling her that they would get into “so much trouble” if he took her “out for a drink.”

Mr. Ailes also would tell her that she should “engage in sexual relationships with ‘older, married, conservative men,’” the suit stated.

“These comments and their delivery made it clear that Ailes wanted a sexual relationship with Roginsky,” the suit stated.

Ms. Roginsky asserted in the suit that she faced retaliation for refusing Mr. Ailes’s advances.

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