- Fox News
Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky on Monday filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Fox News, the network’s copresident, and its former chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes.
The explosive complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, accused Ailes of making a regular hosting spot on “The Five” contingent on Roginsky having a sexual relationship with Ailes, which the lawsuit said she refused. The lawsuit alleges it prompted the ex-Fox News chief to retaliate against her.
The lawsuit further alleged that the company’s copresident Bill Shine “aided and abetted the discrimination” by “failing to take reasonable measures to protect Roginsky from, and condoning, the unlawful conduct.”
The lawsuit said Ailes would request one-on-one meetings with Roginsky and “frequently steer” the conversations to her personal and romantic life, recommending she should engage in sexual relationships with older, conservative men. Ailes, the lawsuit said, also “remarked that he was loyal but that loyalty was a two-way street.”
“These comments and their delivery made it clear that Ailes wanted a sexual relationship with Roginsky,” the lawsuit said.
Roginsky, a high-profile liberal contributor on Fox News, was never given a permanent hosting position on “The Five.” The lawsuit said it was “in retaliation” for her “rejection of Ailes’ sexual advances in the summer of 2015.”
Roginsky also said in the lawsuit that she was subject to additional retaliation, including “rarely allowing her to host her own segments on ‘Outnumbered,'” a show on which she frequently appeared. The lawsuit alleged she was also not selected for a permanent position on the show as a result of additional retaliation.
The lawsuit from Roginsky seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
“We look forward to a public trial in front of a jury in New York City,” said her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, who also represented former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in her sexual-harassment lawsuit against Ailes.
Susan Estrich, Ailes’ attorney, dismissed Roginsky’s allegations as “total hogwash” in a statement provided to Business Insider.
“Mr. Ailes vociferously denies her allegations,” Estrich said. “Her interactions with Mr. Ailes were not even close to the fictional version she wants people to believe now.”
Estrich continued: “The idea that Mr. Ailes would pressure Ms. Roginsky or any other women to have sexual relations with him is total nonsense.”
“In short, this copycat complaint is not about discrimination or retaliation,” Estrich concluded. “This is about someone who wants to pile-on in a massive character assassination in order to achieve what she did not accomplish on the merits.”
A representative for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit was filed just days after an investigation from The New York Times found Fox News and host Bill O’Reilly had paid millions to settle five sexual-harassment complaints against O’Reilly, two of which The Times said came after Ailes left the network.
Ailes left the network in 2016 after a string of sexual-harassment allegations, which he denied, came to light after Carlson’s lawsuit.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include comment from a representative for Ailes.