But Carlson, 50, alleges that she was pushed out because she spurned Ailes’s sexual advances and complained about the treatment of women in the newsroom by their male co-workers.
“I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” the complaint accuses Ailes, 76, of telling the former Miss America last September.
“Sometimes problems are easier to solve (that way).”
The pervy powerhouse would also ogle her in his office and ask her to turn around so he could view her posterior, and would comment on “certain outfits (that) enhanced Carlson’s figure” and make comments about her legs, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in New Jersey Superior Court.
“I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to,” Ailes allegedly told her.
He also embarrassed her by allegedly telling people in front of her at an event that he’d “slept” with “three former Miss Americas but not with her.”
Carlson said she tried to clear the air with Ailes in meeting in his office in September of last year, but the retaliation got worse after she rebuffed his advances.
“It’s 2016, this has to stop,” Nancy Erika Smith, one of Carlson’s lawyers, told the Daily News. “Women should be allowed to in the work place without their male bosses saying, ‘You have to have sex with me’. She’s very brave as a media person standing up to someone as powerful as Roger Ailes — for herself and all women.”
The attorney added that while the termination has been “devastating” and “potentially career-ending” for her client, Carlson is not suing the network itself.
The lawsuit implies that other women in the newsroom “who did not complain about harassment or rebuff his sexual advances” enjoyed better promotion and support.
A rep for Fox News declined comment on the suit.
Carlson joined Fox News in 2005, and interviewed “numerous political leaders and celebrities” over the years, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The suit says her problems started in 2009 while she was a co-host on the popular “Fox & Friends” morning show, and complained to brass that one of her co-hosts, Steve Doocy, “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way.”
Doocy’s “severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson” included “mocking her during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show, and generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop,” the suit says.
After Ailes found out she’d complained, he called her a “man hater” and “killer” and that she needed to “get along with the boys.”
“Sexual innuendo was always part of the Ailes playbook,” says Smith.
Ailes then retaliated by decreasing her duties “and directing that she not be showcased at all,” the suit says.
Carlson once walked off an Aug. 2012 broadcast of “Fox & Friends” in Aug. 2012 when co-host Brian Kilmeade launched into a sexist diatribe about women joining a previously all-male Navy band.
Ailes fired her from the show in 2013 “for her refusal to accede to sexual harassment and retaliation,” the filing claims. At the time of her departure, insiders told the Daily News, that the move was made to replace Carlson with the younger Elisabeth Hasselbeck, fresh off her stint from “The View.”
Carlson was then given a 2-3 p.m. solo show for less pay, even though her workload increased. She “continued to work diligently” while achieving “solid and consistent ratings increases up until the day she was terminated” in June, the suit says.
In a statement Wednesday, Carlson said “Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace.” The suit seeks unspecified money damages.
“We believe that Mr. Ailes’ behavior toward Gretchen, as described in the complaint, speaks volumes about what she had to endure,” said another one of her lawyers, Martin Hyman. “Opposing sexism and rejecting unwanted sexual come-ons should never cost a woman her job or subject her to disparagement and emotional anguish.”