Seven hours after the first reports of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him, Roger Ailes has responded to Gretchen Carlson’s blockbuster claims. Here it is in full:
Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.
Ailes’s statement came just after Fox News corporate parent 21st Century Fox released its own statement of support for Ailes as well as for Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy who was named in Carlson’s suit. Still, the company is launching an investigation, which is standard procedure in these situations. Here is the full statement:
The Company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy. We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter.