Fresh claims of sexual harassment at Fox News

Alisyn Camerota.
Alisyn Camerota.
Roger Ailes.
Roger Ailes.

NEW YORK • Fox News faced new sexual harassment allegations on Sunday as Alisyn Camerota, a former anchor, accused former Fox News chief Roger Ailes of saying "grossly inappropriate" things to her and once inviting her to a hotel room.

Mr Ailes, 76, was ousted in July from the network he built into a conservative media powerhouse after multiple employees accused him of sexual harassment.

Camerota, 50, added her voice to that chorus on Sunday in an interview on CNN show Reliable Sources. "I remember being in Roger's office saying I wanted more opportunities and he said: 'Well, I would have to work with you... and it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here.

"And it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I'm saying?'"

Mr Ailes resigned from Fox News after a law firm hired by 21st Century Fox, the network's parent company, took statements from at least six women who alleged he had behaved inappropriately.

But the network's problems did not go away when he did.

Bill O'Reilly, 67, host of its most popular show, was forced out last week after a New York Times investigation found that either Fox or he had paid five women about US$13 million (S$18 million) to settle harassment claims.

O'Reilly has not appeared on television in almost two weeks, but is set to make his first on-air comments since his firing on his podcast. An advertisement for the podcast, which needs a paid subscription, appeared on his website, saying: "Monday. The No Spin News returns."

On Sunday, Camerota, who worked at Fox News for more than 15 years before joining CNN in 2014, said she had decided to ignore Mr Ailes' advances, but soon began to suffer "emotional harassment".

He would "boom and bellow" at her when he thought she was failing to inject conservative commentary into her news reports.

The co-host of morning show New Day said she was hopeful the departure of Mr Ailes and O'Reilly meant that Fox News might develop a stricter attitude towards sexual harassment.

"Roger was the king and obviously everything trickled down from him," said Camerota. "So when he said grossly inappropriate things about women's bodies, there was a feeling there that that's more appropriate and you're not going to get in trouble for that."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline 'Fresh claims of sexual harassment at Fox News'. Print Edition | Subscribe