The emails and calls never stop coming into my law firm. Women sexually harassed by powerful men like Roger Ailes, women terrified to oppose it, but knowing they should, they must, for themselves, for women’s equality, for their daughters – they’re contacting me after all – but crying and shaking in fear of losing their jobs, their careers, getting blacklisted for life.
And on all counts, they’re right. Because men like Roger Ailes didn’t just sexually harass women and retaliate against them when they complained – both illegal – they destroyed women. And yet some were brave enough to face his henchmen, his media machine that vilified his enemies. Because women’s equality is now a core American value, a value that is stronger than Roger’s “black ops” surveillance of his own employees and tens of millions of hush money payouts to women.
With Roger Ailes, no low was too low.
With Roger Ailes, no low was too low. He saw to it that former booking producer Laurie Luhn was paid over $3 million to shut up about her story that he had coerced her into sex, videotaped it, then blackmailed her with the tape into becoming his little sex toy whenever he wanted her, which was often, for two decades, driving her to a nervous breakdown. Laurie Luhn suffers to this day.
He took respected journalist Gretchen Carlson and reduced her to an object of his sexual desires, and when she rejected the come-on of her bloated, arrogant old boss, he fired her. (Yes, she got a $20 million payout that she shares with her lawyers and the government. She lost her career.)
And according to credible reports, there were dozens more Lauries and Gretchens. Julie Roginsky filed a new case against Ailes and Fox News just a few weeks ago.
Let his victims be ungagged so that a true, full reckoning of his life can be made.
Fox News has given some lip service lately to turning a corner, what with its being forced to fire Bill O’Reilly and Bill Shine. Of course, it only took those actions after women like my clients Wendy Walsh, Perquita Burgess, Caroline Heldman and me publicly and relentlessly shamed them.
Let Roger Ailes’ passing truly began a new day. Turn that corner, for real, Fox News. Let his victims be ungagged so that a true, full reckoning of his life can be made.
And give the women their jobs back.