Gretchen Carlson found a friend in actress Naomi Watts when she really needed one.
The former Fox News anchor famously filed a disturbing sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss Roger Ailes in 2016, which was followed by accusations from more than two dozen other women. (Ailes died at 77 in May 2017 after a fall at his home.)
In the aftermath, Carlson has found herself depicted in more than one piece of pop culture without the ability to participate in the productions, because of the non-disclosure agreement with the company she signed as part of a legal settlement. So she watched Watts portrayal of her in the Showtime series The Loudest Voice from afar.
“I know from speaking to [Watts] afterward and from watching the interviews that she gave, that she really put her heart and soul into trying to become me,” Carlson tells Yahoo Entertainment. “She wrote something on Instagram that took my breath away. She really got me and understood the courage that it took to come forward. Often times, this can be a lonely experience and to know that somebody like Naomi Watts saw exactly what happened to me and did her best to portray that in the Showtime miniseries meant the world to me.”
Carlson says she thought Watts did “an amazing job,” adding that having the two-time Oscar nominee playing her was “surreal.”
The author, advocate and host of Lifetime’s Breaking the Silence never expected her career would lead to where it has today. She’s hosting a pair of upcoming Beyond the Headlines documentaries accompanying movies about current events: Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, airing Sept. 21, and The College Admissions Scandal, scheduled for Oct. 12.
“It’s not like through everything I’ve achieved and that’s on my resume that I ever envisioned that I would also add one of the prominent poster people for sexual harassment in the workplace,” Carlson explains. “I think if you do look at my resume and know my life, you know that if there’s ever been a challenge in front of me I work incredibly hard to make sure that I do it right. I felt a huge responsibility, after what happened to me three years ago, to do it right for other women and other men in our country who didn’t have a voice.”
Carlson will soon be depicted on the big screen in the much anticipated Bombshell, which arrives in theaters Dec. 20. In that one, she’ll be played by Watts’s close friend Nicole Kidman.
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