Fox has been sued by yet another woman accusing ousted CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment on Tuesday. In this suit, current Fox 5 reporter Lidija Curanaj (legal name: Lidija Ujkic) alleges Ailes harassed her during a job interview, and then followed up with her date to ask how the sex was.
According to the New York Times, which obtained the suit against Twenty-First Century Fox, Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Television Stations and Byron Harmon, Fox 5's News Director, Curanaj met Ailes at a dinner in 2011 where she was with New York state senator Gregory R. Ball; shortly after, she was brought into the network for an interview. Ailes asked her to stand up and turn around so that he could see her “from behind,” during the interview. He remarked, “I like what I see.” After their interview, Ailes reportedly called Ball to ask, “How’s the sex?” and whether or not she would “put out.”
From the Times:
Shortly after, Ms. Curanaj received a call from Mr. Ailes, who told her that she was not ready for Fox News and that she instead should contact Fox’s local stations, she says in the suit. Ms. Curanaj believed that she did not “receive the position at F.N.C. because Ailes determined that she would not submit to him sexually,” the suit states.
Curanaj’s claims line up with what we’ve heard from the numerous women who have already come forward with stories of Ailes’ harassment, like the suggestive comments, the stand-and-twirl, and the threat (or reality) of retaliation.
Roger Ailes was allowed to resign from his post as CEO with a $40 million parachute, and will remain on to “advise Rupert [Murdoch, his successor] during the transition.” Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Ailes’ wife Elizabeth announced she would sell two newspapers—the Putnam County News & Recorder and the Putnam County Courier—for an undisclosed amount of money.
“The discrimination and harassment described by Ms. Curanaj is exemplary of the conduct of many of Fox’s male managers reported by countless women over the past six months,” said Curanaj’s attorney Jeanne M. Christensen to the Times. “We intend on holding Fox accountable for this conduct, and sending a message to employers everywhere that there are severe consequences to discriminating against female employees.”
Correction: A previous version of this article said the lawsuit was against Fox News, not its parent companies. The article and its headline have been corrected to reflect the change.