When Kimberly Guilfoyle and Fox News announced in July 2018 that she was leaving Fox News, most figured the decision was voluntary. After all, the network’s statement was a simple one: “Fox News and Kimberly Guilfoyle have parted ways.”
Most assumed the longtime TV newser was joining her boyfriend Donald Trump Jr. on the campaign trail and/or taking a job at America First Policies, “a nonprofit organization that works to support Trump agenda.”
However, it would later surface that Guilfoyle’s departure happened not long after a yearlong Fox News HR investigation into inappropriate workplace behavior that had taken place.
According to The New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, there’s even more to the story HuffPost’s Yashar Ali initially reported in 2018.
Mayer published a lengthy piece Thursday evening about alleged sexual misconduct committed by Guilfoyle over a number of years while she was at Fox News, and that the company allegedly made a $4 million payment to Guilfoyle’s accuser to avoid going to trial.
According to Mayer, there is a 42-page draft complaint previously kept secret that had been sent to Fox News executives in November 2018 by this accuser, a former talent assistant who had been working for both Guilfoyle and her then-cohost on The Five, Eric Bolling.
Mayer writes that out of respect for the rights of alleged victims of sexual harassment, The New Yorker is honoring her confidentiality, adding, “Reached for comment, she told Mayer, ‘I wish you well. But I have nothing to say.'”
In that complaint, the former assistant accuses Guilfoyle of sexual harassment and of offering to arrange a payment for her of $1 million dollars “and other inducements, including a private plane ride to Rome, a percentage of Guilfoyle’s future speaking fees and an on-air reporting opportunity,” so that she would not bring up her experience working for Guilfoyle to Fox attorneys during the Roger Ailes saga.
In July, 2016, the network had hired the New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss to investigate sexual misconduct at the company, which, under the leadership of Roger Ailes, had a long history of flagrant harassment and gender discrimination. According to those familiar with the assistant’s draft complaint, during a phone call on August 6, 2017, she alleged that Guilfoyle tried to buy her silence, offering to arrange a payment to her if she agreed to lie to the Paul, Weiss lawyers about her experiences.
Mayer said she spoke with 12 “well-informed” sources familiar with the former assistant’s complaints. The former assistant alleges that Guilfoyle subjected her to “degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior.” She alleges that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle’s apartment while the Fox host walked around naked, “and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sex.”
Mayer said she independently confirmed several of the assistant’s allegations. A former Fox colleague, who noticed the dynamic between Guilfoyle and the assistant, said “It was an insane, abusive relationship,” adding, “Rather than being a mentor, she was an afflictor.” Two sources allegedly told Mayer that Fox, “in order to avoid going to trial, had agreed to pay the woman upward of $4 million.”
Mayer says that Guilfoyle declined to be interviewed for her story but issued a statement: “In my 30-year career working for the SF District Attorney’s Office, the LA District Attorney’s Office, in media and in politics, I have never engaged in any workplace misconduct of any kind. During my career, I have served as a mentor to countless women, with many of whom I remain exceptionally close to this day.” John Singer, her lawyer, said that he would not comment.
Fox News is declining comment on the story.
Not everyone is buying Mayer’s reporting.
Mayer says that PR exec Alexandra Preate, a longtime friend of Guilfoyle’s, told her, “These manifestly false accusations are an affront to the honorable life that Kimberly, a single mom and trailblazing woman, has led.”
Former Fox News colleague Greta Van Susteren also vouched for Guilfoyle, telling Mayer, “I’ve known her [Guilfoyle] for 20-some years, and I’ve never heard of a single complaint against her. This is completely inconsistent with what I’ve seen.”
Mayer writes that due in part to her relationship with Donald Trump Jr., Guilfoyle “has already been floated for a major post after the election: according to a report by Tom LoBianco, in Business Insider, Guilfoyle is under consideration to replace Ronna Romney McDaniel as the chair of the Republican National Committee.”