Alisyn Camerota, who worked with Fox News as a reporter and weekend anchor for more than a decade, told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” that she was targeted by Ailes, who resigned under pressure last July.
“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” she said.
“Roger Ailes was — could be charming,” she said. “He could be quite charismatic. He could be uproariously funny. He could also be a bit of a bully, and mean. And he also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say, and I think that many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”
Camerota recalled an instance in which she told Ailes that she wanted more responsibility. Ailes allegedly responded by telling her that they would have to work more “closely” together, and “it might have to happen at a hotel.” “Do you know what I’m saying?,” Ailes reportedly asked her.
Camerota, who moved to CNN in 2014, called the instance “humiliating,” and didn’t tell anyone about Ailes’ invitation at the time. She said that she did not go to the hotel, and feared that she might lose her job.
After that, the former Fox News employee said Ailes then began to berate her presentation of the news, saying he engaged in “emotional harassment.” “Roger Ailes ruled with an iron fist, and he wanted us all to fall in line and have his world view and say the things that he wanted us to say on Fox News,” she added.
In a statement, an attorney for Ailes, Susan Estrich, told Variety: “These are unsubstantiated and false allegations. Mr Ailes never engaged in the inappropriate conversations she now claims occurred, and he vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and of Fox News editorial policy.” Estrich also pointed to a number of positive statements Camerota has given regarding Ailes and Fox News in the past.
Camerota is far from the first to level such accusations at Ailes. Last year, longtime Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes and the network, launching an internal review into the culture at Fox News. Just earlier this month, former Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky also sued Ailes and the network.
In another Fox News scandal, Bill O’Reilly was ousted on Wednesday following an investigation into several claims of sexual harassment. For her part, Camerota said that she believes the culture has changed with both Ailes and O’Reilly out.
“It feels as though, if I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like,” she said.