12:57pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Lisa Bloom Calls Fox News "a Cesspool of Sexual Harassment" in Letter to N.Y. Officials
Attorney Lisa Bloom is calling on the New York State Division of Human Rights to intervene at Fox News, labeling the network a "cesspool of sexual harassment, intimidation and retaliation."
Last week, Bloom held a press conference with her client Dr. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and radio host who used to appear on the cable news network and says she was booted after she refused the advances of Bill O'Reilly. Then, the attorney announced she would be calling for an independent investigation. Now, she's following up on that promise — and isn't pulling any punches.
Bloom's letter not only says ousted CEO Roger Ailes normalized the practice of senior male executives preying on female subordinates, but also includes bombshell allegations against the exec and calls him a predator.
“In at least one case, Mr. Ailes threatened an employee into having sex with him, making a video of the event and then blackmailing her into years of sexual relations with the threat that otherwise he would release the video,” writes Bloom.
The attorney likened Ailes' operation of the network to that of the mafia, "riddled with corruption and surveillance, smear campaigns and hush money."
Bloom calls on state investigators to subpoena confidentiality agreements signed by the women who have allegedly been driven out of the network after reporting harassment. "Show this company that it is not above the law," she writes.
Fox News has no comment in response to the letter, and Ailes' attorney Susan Estrich has not yet replied to a request for a statement.