Attorneys representing clients who have accused Fox News employees of sexual harassment and racial discrimination reacted to the news that former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes died at age 77. Ailes resigned from Fox News in July 2016 after Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment. Since then, several lawsuits have targeted Ailes and Fox News.
When Ailes resigned in July, Carlson’s attorneys issued a statement, saying that Carlson’s “extraordinary courage has caused a seismic shift in the media world.”
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who has represented clients accusing former Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment, tweeted that she hopes other alleged victims of Ailes come forward.
Bloom also tweeted a link to a New York Magazine report about Laurie Luhn, a former Fox News booker who claimed she was harassed by Ailes for over 20 years. “It was psychological torture,” Luhn told the magazine. Luhn is represented by Paul, Weiss, who launched an investigation into O’Reilly in April.
Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who is representing a dozen clients who have accused Fox News of racial discrimination, issued a statement, specifically pointing out accusations made by client Lidija Ujkic against Ailes.
The sudden passing of Roger Ailes will make it difficult for Fox News to refute the allegations against him as his testimony was not secured by sworn testimony to date. For example, our client Lidija Ujkic claims in her complaint pending in the Southern District that Mr. Ailes made the following comments: (i) insisting that President Obama is a Muslim who had ulterior motives and was working with terrorists; (ii) discussing the Fox News recipe for success as showing women from the feet up; (iii) asking Ms. Ujkic to stand up and turn around so he could see her from behind and commenting that he liked what he saw; and (iv) calling her ex-boyfriend and asking whether she “put out” and “how’s the sex.”
The statements from Wigdor and Bloom were not the only statements about Ailes that referenced the sexual harassment accusations he faced in recent months. Josh Barro, an MSNBC contributor, wrote about the negative effects of Ailes’ partisan television coverage.
Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri referenced the short skirts often seen on Fox News’ female anchors.
A Fox News employee who accused Aiels of sexual harassment told New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, “Justice.”
David Simon, the creator of The Wire, wrote that he is doing a “Lindy Hop” on Ailes’ grave.
Jeet Heer of The New Republic wrote:
Greta Van Susteren, who left Fox News and spoke out against Ailes after Carlson left, wrote:
Here are other tweets critical of Ailes: