Gretchen Carlson on Not Judging Women Who Wait to Make Sexual Harassment Allegations: "Look at How We React"

The Hollywood Reporter

Gretchen Carlson made waves at Fox News this summer when the former anchor sued then-CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.

Carlson's lawsuit, which was ultimately settled, claimed that she was let go from Fox News as retaliation for rejecting Ailes' sexual advances.

And she isn't done speaking about sexual harassment, telling Time magazine that she plans to testify before Congress to help change the law on forced arbitration.

Carlson recently sat down for her first TV interview since suing Ailes, with ABC News' Amy Robach, which will air on Friday's 20/20.

In a clip that aired on Thursday's Good Morning America, Carlson said she didn't think the public should judge women who wait to come forward with charges of sexual harassment.

"I don't think we should judge women if they have waited, because look at how we react to women when they finally do come forward," Carlson said. "They're accused of making it up. We have to make it a safer environment so that it's no longer 'he said, she said' but maybe just 'she said.'"

Read more: Gretchen Carlson Plans to Fight for Sexual-Harassment Legislative Reform

She also recalled two past incidents in which she was physically attacked by men during business meetings, the first happening shortly after she was crowned Miss America and meeting with people to try to break into broadcasting.

"It was a shocking experience because with this particular man, he spent most of the day helping me, and I thought, 'Wow this guy's being so nice.' We went to dinner, and we were in the backseat of a car going to my college friend's apartment at the end of the evening. And before I knew it, he was on top of me, and his tongue was down my throat. I quickly got out of the car, and I was flustered, and I remember sobbing, and I remember being inconsolable and thinking, 'Well, I'll never speak to him again' and I didn't."

She recounted that something similar happened "a few weeks later" in L.A., when a "very high-powered PR executive" shoved her head into his crotch "so forcefully that [she] couldn't breathe."

Wondering why this kept happening, Carlson admits she blamed herself a bit.

"When situations like that happen to women, you fear that it's going to be your fault. You're not going to be believed. You're going to lose your job," she said.

Read more: Gretchen Carlson Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes Ends in Settlement

Robach's full interview with Carlson airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Watch the clip from Thursday's GMA below.


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