×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gretchen Carlson on Roger Ailes Suit: ‘I Hope I’ve Helped Other Women to Win’

Four months after filing the sexual harassment lawsuit that forced the resignation of Fox News chairman-CEO Roger Ailes, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson told ABC News’ “20/20” she hopes her experience will encourage other victims of workplace harassment to speak out.

Carlson’s lawsuit against Ailes shook Fox News to its foundation and spurred a stunningly swift downfall of the executive who built Fox News from scratch 2o years ago. Friday’s edition of “20/20” marked Carlson’s first TV interview since the upheaval, but Carlson told ABC News’ Amy Robach she could not discuss the case because of the $20 million settlement she reached with Fox News in September.

“I hope I’ve helped other women to win,” she said when asked by Robach if she felt she had achieved a victory with her lawsuit. Carlson filed suit against Ailes in July after Fox News failed to renew her contract. Carlson maintains she was demoted from high-profile anchor slots at Fox News when she refused Ailes advanced and after she complained of mistreatment by another male anchor.

The “20/20” broadcast also featured lurid allegations about Ailes from former Fox News talent booker Laurie Luhn. Luhn maintains she had a sexual relationship on and off with Ailes for more than 20 years, after the two met in the late 1980s during the presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush.

Luhn detailed allegations of Ailes ordering her to strip down to lingerie and dance for him — encounters Ailes would instigate by telling Luhn that she “needed some training.” She claims she received promotions at Fox News in exchange for those sexual favors. Luhn said she received a $3 million separation agreement from Fox News in 201o after she reported Ailes’ behavior to the news division’s general counsel.

Luhn said she was unaware that Carlson other women at Fox News were allegedly targets of sexual harassment by Ailes. Megyn Kelly, Fox’s biggest female star, hastened Ailes’ demise after Carlson’s suit was filed when she disclosed to Fox News’ internal investigators her experiences with Ailes when she was starting out at the network in 2006.

In a statement to “20/20,” Ailes denied Luhn’s allegations. “Ms. Luhn is someone I once regarded as a friend and a person who I helped for many years,” Ailes’ statement reads. “The stories she is telling now are fabrications built on half-truths and outright lies, and I can only assume are opportunistically intended to thrust her back into the limelight at my expense. Moreover, they are contradicted by her own prior public statements. It is sad that ABC is willing to air this story without verifying the facts.”

Carlson said she plans to testify before Congress soon on the push to ease the common employment contractual provision that disputes are handled through private arbitration rather than civil courts. Carlson’s suit got around the arbitration clause by targeting Ailes as an individual rather than Fox News itself.

Carlson said she has also launched a foundation to help “empower women.” Robach during the interview disclosed her own experience with sexual harassment.

“Finding another job is not a realistic way to solve this problem,” Carlson said. “Women should not have to face this in the workplace, period.”

More TV

  • TV Roundup: Pop TV Releases Teaser

    TV News Roundup: Pop TV Releases Teaser for 'Schitt's Creek's' Final Season

    In today’s TV news roundup, Pop TV releases a teaser for the final season of “Schitt’s Creek,” and Nickelodeon kicks off the holiday season with “Top Elf.” DATES Nickelodeon’s “Top Elf” series will premiere Nov. 29. “Top Elf” is a new competition series featuring guest judges Frankie Grande, Amirah Kassem, Peyton List, Alex Wassabi and [...]

  • Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit

    Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit List, a League Table of Unproduced British TV Scripts

    Karen Cogan’s “Fled” has come top of The Brit List, a league table of unproduced scripts from British writing talent, this year devoted to television projects. The list, similar to The Black List in the U.S., was compiled from recommendations by British production companies, talent agencies, financiers and broadcasters. Cogan, represented by Independent Talent Group, [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

  • Cedric the Entertainer

    Cedric the Entertainer to Produce Multi-Cam Comedy in Development at CBS

    “The Neighborhood” star Cedric the Entertainer is set to executive produce an untitled multi-camera project in the works at CBS, Variety has learned. The series follows two young women who, after repeatedly being turned down by investors, hatch an outrageous plan to raise capital for their new sports app. According to sources, the project had been [...]

  • HBO Max logo

    HBO Max Developing CIA Interns Comedy 'Classified' (EXCLUSIVE)

    There are plenty of tough places to be an intern, but the CIA must be near the top of the list. HBO Max is developing a comedy series which tackles just how hard that might be, Variety has learned exclusively. The forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, which is set to launch May 2020, has set a script development [...]

  • Sony Pictures Studio Culver City

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Buys AT&T's Stake in Game Show Network

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought out AT&T’s minority interest in Game Show Network for about $500 million. The deal makes Sony the sole owner of GSN. AT&T had owned 42% of the company, which the telco giant inherited with its purchase of DirecTV in 2015. AT&T has been on a mission this year to pay [...]

  • WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY

    The First BravoCon Provides an Outlet for Obsession (Column)

    Were you one of the thousands flipping tables for not managing to snatch up tickets to the first ever BravoCon? Did you find yourself refreshing your Twitter and Instagram feeds incessantly for updates on who said what to whom and where over the weekend? Are you wondering if you should try harder to get in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content