AceShowbiz - Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has been slapped with a lawsuit over alleged sexual harassment and wrongful termination by %cGretchen Carlson%. The 50-year-old broadcast veteran claims that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 after rebuffing Ailes' sexual advances.
According to the complaint that was filed on Wednesday, July 6, "When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: '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,' adding that 'sometimes problems are easier to solve' that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes' sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News."
The lawsuit also says, "As a direct and proximate result of her refusing his sexual advances and in retaliation for Carlson's complaints about discrimination and harassment, Ailes terminated her employment, causing her significant, emotional and professional harm."
Carlson additionally alleges that Ailes asked "her to turn around so he could view her posterior," commented on her body and wardrobe and once told her "she was 'sexy,' but 'too much hard work,' " PEOPLE reports.
Her lawyers tell the site that after Carlson was demoted from her role as co-host on "Fox & Friends" in 2013, she was put on a daytime show "The Real Story" to "lower her profile." One of the lawyers, Nancy Erika Smith, says, "She was not invited to big events, she was not allowed to cover breaking news, she was not assigned to very important political events - they actually took her picture down from Fox News Studios. The goal was to lower her profile and then fire her."
However, Ailes has denied Carlson's claims. He says in a statement that "Gretchen Carlson's allegations are false" and "this is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup."
He explains, "When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit."
Ailes adds, "Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11-year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously."
Carlson, meanwhile, says that coming forward with the sexual harassment claims is not easy. She says in a statement, "I have strived to empower women and girls throughout my entire career. Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace. I am extremely proud of my accomplishments at Fox News and for keeping our loyal viewers engaged and informed on events and news topics of the day."