CNN New Day co-anchor Alisyn Camerota disclosed that former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes sexually harassed her when she was an anchor and reporter at the network. Camerota was a Fox Newser for 16 years before leaving for CNN in 2014.
In an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, Camerota told host Brian Stelter that she originally didn’t want to criticize her former employer, but the actions taken this past week represented a “tipping point” for her.
“It feels as though, if I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like, and I don’t know how you get that from silence,” Camerota said to Stelter.
“And you said on the air Bill O’Reilly never harassed you,” Stelter said. “But you didn’t say that about Roger Ailes. Did Roger Ailes ever sexually harass you?”
“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” she said.
Allegations of harassment at Fox News increased substantially last year before Ailes was finally forced out in July 2016 after longtime Fox Newser Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, which he called “false” and “defamatory.”
Fox News democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, filed suit against Ailes and the network earlier this month. Ailes and his legal team have denied all allegations.
“Roger Ailes was—could be charming. He could be quite charismatic. He could be uproariously funny. He could also be a bit of a bully, and mean. And he also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say, and I think that many of us experienced that,” Camerota said. “He would talk about body parts. He would say, ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”
When Camerota started at Fox, she said Ailes once suggested they go to a hotel together to work “really closely” and “get to know each other better.”
“When it happens, there is a visceral reaction that you have where you recognize, my career and everything I’ve worked for is under threat, and I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she said during the interview.
When instances of harassment and intimidation mounted, Camerota “started refusing to go to Roger’s office.”
Camerota maintains she was never harassed by O’Reilly, and added that Fox is not “rotten at its core.”
“There are tons of good people there. There are real journalists. They are trying to do their jobs,” she said.