Another Fox News employee has come forward claiming she was sexually harassed by former CEO Roger Ailes during her time at the network.
A lawyer for Laurie Dhue, who spent eight years at Fox News and was the host of the network’s Fox Report Weekend, said that she was ‘asked by Roger Ailes if she was wearing underwear while jumping on the trampoline with Ailes’ then 6-year-old son, Zach.’
The Daily Beast reports that the incident, which took place in 2006, allegedly occurred at the home of Steve Doocy, the host of Fox & Friends, who was having a BBQ at the time.
Dhue’s lawyer, Bruce Schaeffer, is now questioning the internal investigation being done by the law firm of Paul, Weiss, and claiming that they are not probing deep enough into the allegations being made against Ailes.
‘[I]n light of recent news stories revealing, among other things, that former FNC employee Laurie Luhn had to approach Paul, Weiss about her relationship with (rather than Paul, Weiss approaching her) we wanted to let you know that Paul, Weiss has thusfar not contacted us as part of its investigation, which fairly questions the credibility of its investigative process,’ Schaeffer wrote in his statement.
‘It could be argued that the firm wrapped up its investigation prematurely, limiting the scope.
A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox told The Daily Beast: ‘Ten days after Paul, Weiss commenced their interviews, Roger Ailes resigned. Any suggestion that their work was less than rigorous is simply ridiculous.’
Then they added: ‘As we’ve made clear, we take any matter of sexual harassment very seriously. Paul, Weiss remains counsel to us and is dealing with any and all issues as they arise.’
Dhue, 47, left Fox News in 2008 and three years later opened up about battling alcoholism during her time at the network.
‘I hid my alcoholism for many, many years. I was probably a high-functioning alcoholic, as so many people are,’ she said in a 2011 interview with Today.
‘But there were cracks, certainly, and there were definitely times when people asked me what was wrong, and I just – I didn’t even know, myself.
‘I would drag myself into work deeply hung over. I thought I had to drink myself into oblivion several times a week.
‘I suffered in silence. I lived in constant fear. On the inside, I was dying.’
Dhue got sober in 2007 after 15 years of drinking.
Last week, Luhn spoke with Daily Intelligencer about her relationship with Ailes, and how her willingness to perform the sexual acts he demanded of her resulted in a job at Fox News and multiple promotions before ultimately causing her to suffer a mental breakdown.
It was after that breakdown that Luhn, then an event planner for Fox News, decided to tell the network about what she alleges was 20 years of sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes.
The network quickly responded by giving Luhn a $3.15 million payout, and making her sign ‘extensive nondisclosure provisions’ that reporter Gabriel Sherman saw during the interview.
Luhn made the decision to go public despite the terms of her settlement after Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit against Ailes, first reaching out to the lawyers conducting an internal investigation at the network and then granting her first interview.
‘It was psychological torture,’ said Luhn of the anguish caused as a result of Ailes’ alleged harassment.
As for Ailes himself, she simply said: ‘He’s a predator.’
Carlson meanwhile praised Megyn Kelly and made it clear she had absolutely no regrets or sympathy for her former boss Ailes in an interview about her lawsuit last week.
It was 15 days after Carlson filed court papers accusing Ailes of sexual harassment that he resigned from his post, which seemed like far too much time according to Carlson.
‘At first, satisfaction – or no, I think validation,’ Carlson told The Washington Post about learning the news that Ailes was out of a job with the company.
She added however: ‘I felt angry that it took so long.’
Carlson also took time to give thanks to the other women who came forward after she filed her lawsuit, including her former Fox News co-worker Kelly.
‘I appreciated that she told the truth, and I know it was risky,’ said Carlson.
Carlson said nothing more about Kelly in the interview, and at one point said she completely disagreed with the notion that Kelly’s interview with investigators made all the difference as it pertained to Ailes’ resignation.
It was during the investigation that Kelly reportedly revealed that she herself had been harassed by Ailes when she first joined the company.
Kelly has refused multiple requests for comment about what she said to investigators.
Carlson said that in her opinion it was ‘the multitude of women’ who came forward that made the difference in the end.
‘I thought I would be fighting this all by myself,’ said Carlson.
Carlson also responded to the decision of many Fox News personalities to immediately leap to Ailes’ defense after she filed her lawsuit, saying: ‘Some of them were lawyers.
They should have known better, so I was surprised. It was like, “Wow, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”‘
She then added: ‘But I was at Fox a long time.
I know how it works. You could sense that it all was orchestrated.’
She made no mention however of Kelly’s refusal to come to Ailes defense, something that became a bigger story in the week before his resignation than the statements praising him from his Fox News employees.
Ailes still managed to walk away with a $40million severance package after leaving his post, and maintains that the allegations being made by Carlson in her lawsuit are false.
Carlson wrote in her court filing about a conversation she had with Ailes last September in which he allegedly said to her: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.’
That conversation allegedly came when Carlson went to speak with Ailes about what she believed were discriminatory practices at the network.
The popular host of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson alleged that her refusal to have a sexual relationship with her boss was why she was let go on June 23 after 11 years with the network.
Carlson claims in her complaint that Ailes called her a ‘man hater’ and accused her of wanting to ‘show up the boys’ when she complained about what she alleges was diminishing treatment and ‘pervasive sexual harassment’ by her Fox & Friends co-host Doocy.
Doocy also ‘created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast,’ claims the complaint.
These complaints about Doocy are why she was fired from the marquee show in 2013 and placed as the host of her own afternoon show, claims Carlson in her complaint.
Carlson, 50, alleges that her compensation was decreased at this time as well by the network.
The spot was open at the time because Ailes had made the decision to move Kelly from that afternoon slot to the 9pm hour, following the network’s highest rated program, The O’Reilly Factor.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck was then brought on to join Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends.
Carlson also included a list of comments she claims Ailes made to her at the workplace in her complaint.
‘Ogling Carlson in his office and asking her to turn around so he could view her posterior,’ reads one grievance in the complaint.
In another instance Carlson alleges in her complaint that Ailes asked her how she felt about him before stating: ‘Do you understand what I’m saying to you?’
Carlson also claims in her complaint that Ailes once told people at an event that he likes to stay seated when women greet him so they have to ‘bend over’ to say hello.
The Fox News CEO also called Carlson ‘sexy’ but ‘too much hard work’ and said he had ‘slept’ with three former Miss Americas but never her according to the complaint.
Carlson was crowned Miss America in 1989.
Gabriel Sherman wrote in his unauthorized biography of Ailes that he once said of Carlson’s win: ‘It must not have been a good year.’