WASHINGTON: Fox News host and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson filed suit Wednesday against the company’s chief executive, saying she was fired for rejecting his sexual advances.
The sexual harassment suit filed in New Jersey state court said Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News, terminated Carlson as a retaliatory act.
Fox said that it saw the allegations in the suit and had launched an internal review.
“We take these matters seriously,” Fox said in a released statement.
The media giant went on to said that it had “full confidence” in Ailes.
US media reports said that Ailes stepped up to his own defense, releasing a statement saying the accusations were false and that the suit was retaliation for not renewing Carlson’s contract due to low ratings.
He called the suit “offensive” and vowed a vigorous legal defense.
Carlson, a top Fox personality, had been with the network for more than a decade.
Ailes “unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment,” the lawsuit alleges.
According to the lawsuit, Ailes fired Carlson on June 23 after “ostracizing, marginalizing and shunning her” and making it clear that “these ‘problems’ would not have existed, and could be solved if she had a sexual relationship with him.”