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Add Kimberly Guilfoyle to the list of Fox News anchors publicly defending the boss.
In the days since former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes, Greta Van Susteren, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo and now Guilfoyle have told reporters that the Roger Ailes named in Carlson’s suit, is not the man they know.
This morning TVNewser talked with The Five co-host, who has been one of the fill-ins on Carlson’s former show, The Real Story, since Carlson’s abrupt departure on June 23. Guilfoyle first learned about the suit when the rest of us did, late Wednesday morning. Her first reaction? “Total disbelief. I’ve known Roger Ailes for 15 years and I have been treated with the utmost professionalism and respect,” said Guilfoyle, a former assistant district attorney, who began a career in TV news after her successful prosecution of a high profile dog mauling case. “He’s been a fantastic mentor in television for me.”
Guilfoyle, who has another two years on her Fox News contract, was also unaware Carlson’s contract hadn’t been renewed. “The only thing I had been told was that she was away on vacation,” she said.
“This is a man who champions women,” said Guilfoyle, who pointed out that Ailes had hired women for many top leadership positions at Fox News, including the heads of legal, human resources, public relations and one of the top news executives, Suzanne Scott.
Guilfoyle also found herself named in another complaint last week filed by three former female Fox News make-up artists. The trio claim they were discriminated against and were subject to a hostile work environment by a male co-worker. In one instance, Bradley Stenson is accused of playing a video on his iPad showing a transgender woman describing sexual acts in graphic language. “I was present in the makeup room when he did walk in the room and bring a video,” said Guilfoyle. As it’s “pending litigation,” she didn’t want to comment further.
As for Carlson’s accusations that Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy created a hostile work environment for her, Guilfoyle said “Never once, ever, did I experience anything other than 100 percent appropriate, supportive, professional [behavior] … Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, class acts.”
“I am a strong woman. I come from a background as a prosecutor. I’ve tried everything from homicides to gang cases to sexual assault cases to child abuse cases. If I see, hear, or experience anything that I feel is inappropriate you bet I’m going to speak up,” said Guilfoyle, who sees retaliation in Carlson’s motivation:
“This is a tough business and you’re asked to do a job. And part of doing that job is to rate and to do well and to perform and at certain points, when people are unable to do the job they’re hired to do, what happens is people are let go. Their contract is not renewed. This happens every day in this business and then what you see in certain situations like that is retaliatory and people get upset and disgruntled and take certain measures to express themselves.”
“Nobody believed this,” said Guilfoyle of the women she talked to at Fox last week, more than 30 she figures. “Nobody that I’ve spoken to said that this was their experience.”
“I have worked and anchored prime time at MSNBC. I have worked for Good Morning America. I have been on the Today show. I have worked at Court TV. I have worked at CNN. And this is by far, the best, most professional supportive environment I have ever, without question, worked in,” Guilfoyle said.