10:41am PT by Eriq Gardner
Brian Lewis' Lawyer: Roger Ailes and Fox Have 'A Lot' to Fear
Brian Lewis, formerly the right-hand man to Roger Ailes at Fox News, has hired a lawyer and could be preparing for a bold action.
Earlier this month, Lewis was fired from Fox News and escorted out of the building. At the time, a Fox News spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that Lewis' departure was the result of "financial irregularities" and "multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract."
Lewis has now retained Judd Burstein, an aggressive attorney based in New York. The news was first reported by Gawker and has been confirmed by THR.
"I have just been retained and am still plotting our course of action," Burstein says in a statement. "But two things are very clear to me. First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp [sic] or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp [sic] have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis."
Lewis had been with Fox News since April 1996, shortly before the channel premiered, and ascended to executive vp corporate communications, overseeing public relations not only for Fox News but also the Fox Business Network, Fox Television Stations and 20th Television.
His departure caused immense speculation, including reports that he had been leaking information to Gabriel Sherman, who was writing a book about Ailes.
Details of the "financial irregularities" that allegedly led to Lewis' firing haven't been made public. After the former Fox News executive was escorted from his office at Fox News headquarters in New York, Lewis didn't make any immediate public threats.
"There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time," Lewis said in a statement to TVNewser. "I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News."
Now, however, with the hiring of Burstein, something bigger appears to be in the works.
The attorney has represented in the past Donald Trump, Oscar De La Hoya, the Backstreet Boys and Bert Fields. He has also brought notable lawsuits, including one against The Weinstein Co. for allegedly botching the release of computer-animated movie Escape From Planet Earth and then paying $500,000 in hush money to keep the dispute quiet on the verge of the Academy Awards. Before that case settled, attorneys for Harvey Weinstein called it an "inane and vexatious" lawsuit.
We're reaching out to Fox News for comment.