CNN Anchor Alisyn Camerota Says She Was Sexually Harassed by Roger Ailes
“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” Camerota said on CNN's 'Reliable Sources.'
CNN's Alisyn Camerota spoke publicly claiming she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes when she worked at Fox News. Camerota, who moved from Fox News to CNN in 2014, appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday where she spoke out about the culture at Fox News.
"Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me," Camerota told CNN's Brian Stelter. Camerota worked for more than a decade at Fox News and recalled that Ailes could be "charming" and "charismatic" but also "be a bit of a bully and mean.
"He also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say, and I think that many of us experienced that," she said. "He would talk about body parts. He would say, 'Give me a spin.' He would want to be greeted with a hug."
Camerota added: "But the time that I remember most was when I was first starting out at Fox and I was single, and I remember Roger, being in Roger's office, and I was saying that I wanted more opportunity. He said, 'Well, I would have to work with you. I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely, and it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here, and it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I'm saying?' And I said, 'Yeah, I think I do know what you're saying.'"
Camerota said she refused to go to the hotel with Ailes but wondered if this would mean the end of her career. After refusing Ailes, Camerota said he "changed his MO" and started criticizing her presentation of news. She said she didn't speak out because she was "embarrassed" and recalled Ailes' actions as "emotional harassment."
Said Camerota: "Roger Ailes ruled with an iron fist, and he wanted us all to fall in line and have his worldview and say the things that he wanted us to say on Fox News."
Camerota said she started pushing back and even refused to go into Ailes' office. She said that when it came to presenting both liberal and conservative viewpoints, Ailes said, "There is no other side.
"In Roger's worldview, there was no other side. Liberals were always wrong, conservatives were generally right, and that's what he felt that we should be reflecting on the air," she said.
Despite Ailes' ousting last year and O'Reilly's recent exit, Camerota said on CNN that "there are tons of good people" at Fox News. "There are real journalists. They are trying to do their jobs," she said. Camerota also added "there was a lot of suffering in silence and people who felt humiliated and people who felt scared and people who felt intimidate."
Susan Estrich, an attorney for Ailes, told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, "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."
Camerota participated in a Facebook Q&A in 2015 where she said that she left Fox for CNN for "more opportunity and CNN has exceeded my wildest dreams on that front." She expressed how she has been able to have exclusive interviews and primetime specials on CNN and added, "I loved all of my jobs. I've had great jobs. I loved my time at Fox, I loved my jobs prior to that, but this is my favorite career opportunity."