Gretchen Carlson seemed to have it all. She was crowned Miss America and went on to host television news shows, including "Fox and Friends" and her own program in recent years. But the former Fox News anchor this week revealed her years-long struggle in a lawsuit accusing Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of wrongful termination and sexual harassment.
Carlson was terminated late last month, although she announced on social media that she was on vacation. Politico reports that she now says, in a suit filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, that Roger Ailes had been making sexually charged comments to her for years, both insinuated and explicit, indicating that she could use sex to improve her job standing.
Carlson was the hose of "Fox and Friends" and says that she was fired from that show in 2013 when she complained about her co-host's behavior. Fox News has not yet responded to reporter requests for comment on the lawsuit. Carlson's counsel claims that she was demoted for complaining about Steve Doocy's sexism and harassment.
Carlson says that when she noted that Doocy was harassing her, Roger Ailes told her to not be so easily offended. Her lawyers say that the evidence will show Carlson was demoted for speaking up. Although she did get her own show in 2013, in an afternoon time slot, Carlson said that Fox did not promote the show and cut her pay, so it was essentially a demotion. In other words, Carlson is saying that she was punished by Ailes for complaining.
Carlson says she is making a stink about it now because her contract was terminated and in order to help other women. It should be noted that Carlson published a book in 2015 called Getting Real in which she reportedly discussed harassment over the years but did not name names.
Carlson Speaks Up
Carlson issued a statement saying that she has fought for women and girls throughout her career. She filed the suit to stand up for herself, other working women, and future generations of female workers.
The former Fox News reporter released a statement explaining the lawsuit and her decision to speak out. "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."
If you are being harassed at work, or were terminated wrongfully for any reason, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your situation and explain your options.