After Fox News ousted Bill O’Reilly amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota provided details of her time working at Fox saying that she was sexually harassed by former chairman Roger Ailes.
“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” Camerota told host Brian Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday.
Ailes stepped down from Fox News in July after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment over the years, but he has denied all of the allegations. Camerota, who left Fox in 2014, said she doesn’t “relish the idea of talking about this” but that she believed it was the right time to come forward saying that the past week has been a “tipping point.”
Camerota said that she was never sexually harassed by O’Reilly but that Ailes was “often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say, and I think that many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”
“But the time that I remember most,” Camerota said, “was when I was first starting out at Fox and I was single, and I remember Roger, being in Roger’s office, and I was saying that I wanted more opportunity. He said ‘Well, I would have to work with you. I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely, 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?’ And I said ‘Yeah, I think I do know what you’re saying.’”
At the time, Camerota said that she didn’t know what it meant for her, or her future career at Fox News and she wondered if she would be fired for not obliging. “I just went home and I didn’t tell anybody at the time because I was embarrassed,” she told Stelter.
After refusing Ailes’ advances she said that the way he treated her shifted to emotional harassment which included pressuring her to have more of a conservative voice on the air, “because he thought that I wasn’t reflecting the conservative agenda.”
Camerota did not believe that her duty as a journalist was to sound conservative or liberal, but rather “fair and balanced.”
“He said ‘there is no other side.’ In Roger’s world view, there was no other side. Liberals were always wrong, conservatives were generally right, and that’s what he felt that we should be reflecting on the air.”
By the end of her time at Fox Camerota said she refused to even go to Ailes’ office.