Rupert Murdoch, along with his sons Lachlan and James, have reportedly decided to get rid of Roger Ailes, the 76-year-old head of Fox News who was recently sued by former host Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment.
According to New York, the decision was made after the Murdochs received initial findings of a sexual harassment investigation conducted by law firm Paul, Weiss. James Murdoch reportedly insisted that Ailes should be given a choice regarding whether he wants to be fired or resign.
Since Carlson filed the lawsuit against Ailes, over a dozen women have contacted her attorney to register similar complaints against the CEO, including one woman who recounted how Ailes, whose exposed genitals were “red like raw hamburger,” locked her in a room and instructed her to “kiss them.”
On Friday, news broke that Ailes had been bolstering his legal team to include the general counsel of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Michael Dukakis’ former campaign manager. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ailes has also hired John B. Quinn, who had previously represented Mattel, and Susan Estrich, the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and author of Real Rape, a book about the law’s “casual treatment” of rape cases.
Carlson’s lawyers have also accused Ailes of “illegal and inappropriate judge shopping,” for his attempt to move the lawsuit into federal court and secret arbitration, according to Talking Points Memo. Estrich countered that the claim was nothing more than a “converted smear campaign,” and accused Carlson’s team of judge shopping themselves.
21st Century Fox has reportedly declined to comment to CNN on their alleged decision to oust Ailes.
Update (2:25 p.m.): In a statement, 21st Century Fox said that the matter of Ailes’ future employment has not yet been resolved.
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