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New York magazine reporter Gabe Sherman released a bombshell expose today, detailing his investigation of former Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes. “I interviewed 18 women who shared accounts of Ailes’s offering them job opportunities if they would agree to perform sexual favors for him,” Sherman writes in the expansive piece.
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One of those, he says, was Gretchen Carlson, who infamously sued Ailes for sexual harassment on July 6, 2016. According to Sherman, Carlson had been secretly recording Ailes since at least 2014! Writes Sherman, "Beginning in 2014, according to a person familiar with the lawsuit, Carlson brought her iPhone to meetings in Ailes’s office and secretly recorded him saying the kinds of things he’d been saying to her all along."
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Sherman also claims that Carlson put software on her electronic devices to “prevent the use of spyware by Fox” as the lawsuit unfurled.
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According to Sherman, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani was by Ailes’s side during crisis meetings after the lawsuit was filed. Sherman says Ailes “turned his second-floor office at Fox News into a war room” as planning to counter Carlson’s suit began.
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One early embarrassment for Ailes came when his lawyer attempted to send Drudge Report a denial of Carlson’s claims, but instead sent him a draft of the Fox News CEO’s tentative severance deal! Drudge published the information briefly, sparking early rumors Ailes was on the way out.
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At the same time, Sherman claims, Megyn Kelly was “auditioning in earnest, and in public, for a job at another network,” partly due to her frustration with Ailes.
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Meanwhile, one of the women Sherman interviewed, Laurie Luhn, claimed that Ailes had videotaped her in a garter belt during a hotel room romp. She was being paid a $500 monthly retainer from his political consulting firm at the time, and followed him up the ladder to a $250,000 per year position as an event planner for Fox News, Sherman writes.
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Kelly, on the other hand, “managed to rebuff Ailes’ sexual overtures in a way that didn’t alienate her boss,” Sherman writes.
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When the scandal broke, Sherman claims, Ailes was so desperate “to save his job,” he even “threatened to fly to France, where boss Rupert Murdoch was vacationing with his wife.” He never went, and he resigned on July 21.
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“This is Gabe Sherman’s last stand, and it falls flat,” Ailes’ attorney Susan Estrich emailed Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove. “Sherman has made clear that nothing will stand in the way of his vendetta against Roger Ailes, and he will use any woman he can find — no matter how clearly and deeply troubled she is — to try to concoct allegations against Mr. Ailes.”