A former Fox News booking producer has come forward with revolting allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
Laurie Luhn, who first met Ailes in 1988 and worked at Fox News from 1996-2011, says she was “programmed” by Ailes. “He’s a predator,” Luhn told New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman in 11 hours of interviews.
Luhn, at right in 2007, claims the harassment she endured began with sexual encounters, included sadomasochistic sex with other women, and evolved into recruiting young women for Ailes. “You’re going to find me ‘Roger’s Angels,'” she says Ailes told her.
Last Friday, a day after Ailes stepped down, Luhn called the law firm overseeing the internal investigation launched after Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes. Luhn’s explosive story involves current Fox News executives she says knew about her story of harassment. A Fox News spokesperson cooperated with Sherman on his story. Luhn says longtime Ailes deputies Bill Shine and Dianne Brandi were often called on by Ailes to assist Luhn, especially after a 2007 mental breakdown she says she suffered after she was re-assigned from head of booking to an event planner job.
At one point in her 15 years at Fox, Luhn earned $250,000 a year. In 2010, she says she reached out to Brandi to report that she had been harassed by Roger Ailes for more than 20 years. She says Brandi never responded to the complaint. Sherman writes:
According to a source, [Brandi] asked Ailes about the sexual-harassment allegations, which he vehemently denied. Ailes, according to the source, told Brandi to work out a settlement.
Luhn left Fox News in 2011 with a $3.15 million severance. In recent years, Sherman reports, Luhn has “had a series of mental breakdowns.”
“Sometimes the Stockholm syndrome with Roger slips back, and I am still a little girl trying to impress Daddy Roger.”
Ailes attorney Susan Estrich responds: “Roger denied these allegations in 2011 and he denies them now. He wishes Ms. Luhn well.”
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