Yet another woman accuses Roger Ailes of sexual harassment at Fox
Former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes was ousted this summer after a slew of sexual harassment allegations were levied against him, first by former anchor Gretchen Carlson and then by several other former and current employees. This led to an internal investigation that unearthed more than 20 claims of inappropriate behavior by Ailes, many of which involved Ailes allegedly offering to advance women’s careers in exchange for sexual favors. But in the latest installment of this unfortunate, endless saga, local Fox 5 anchor Lidia Curanaj filed a lawsuit against Fox Tuesday.
The discrimination and hostile work environment suit claims that Ailes didn’t offer her a position at Fox News Channel, but instead a reporting job at a local station, after an alleged private phone call with Curanaj’s ex-boyfriend in which Ailes inquired after their sex life and was told Curanaj was “a very nice girl” who probably wouldn’t offer him sexual favors. This alleged phone call followed an interview between Ailes and Curanaj in which Ailes allegedly asked Curanaj to stand up and turn around, and told her “I like what I see.”
The suit states that Curanaj believes the sole reason she wasn’t hired at Fox News is that “Ailes determined that she would not submit to him sexually.” While these allegations have yet to be proven true, they’re eerily similar to all the other accusations levied against him, including those by Carlson, who claims she was terminated after rejecting Ailes’ sexual advances.
Allegations of sexual abuse against Ailes range from inappropriate sexual comments, to (again) offering career advancement for sex, to exposing himself and demanding oral sex, to trying to lock a 19-year-old in a hotel room with him, and they span over the course of decades. Still, his split with Fox News appeared relatively amicable, as Rupert Murdoch, founder and executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, thanked him for his 20 years of “remarkable” service to the company, and Ailes received a $40 million settlement, which is double what Carlson received.
Ailes was even able to swiftly find a new job despite his past. Naturally, he began advising Donald Trump, a man with nearly as many sexual abuse allegations as Ailes who’s infamous for claiming wealthy men like Trump and Ailes can “do anything” to women, regardless of whether or not they consent. When their professional relationship came to an end, it was just because Ailes could no longer suffer Trump’s laziness and incompetence, according to inside sources.
Curanaj’s suit also alleges discrimination on the basis of age, sex, disability, appearance, and nationality, citing the reduction of her hours, resulting in less pay, beginning after she informed her supervisors that she was pregnant. 21st Century Fox has yet to respond to this latest suit, which is just a drop in the ocean of charges directed at Ailes.