Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor whose sexual harassment lawsuit last year led to the ouster of network founder Roger Ailes, has revealed multiple new instances of sexual harassment and assault she said she’s faced throughout her career.
In a new essay for InStyle, Carlson said that she had been assaulted twice during her stint as Miss America in 1989 and then again while a rookie reporter at a local news station in Virginia. She does not name any of the men she said attacked her.
In one case while she was serving as Miss America, she described a physical altercation in the car of a high-powered television executive.
“After dinner, in the back seat of a car, he suddenly lunged at me, sticking his tongue down my throat. He was on top of me and I couldn’t move. Flustered, shocked, and panicked, I somehow got away from him and screamed for the driver to stop the car. I ran up to a friend’s apartment and just started bawling.”
In July 2016, Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes, kicking off a cascade of allegations against the powerful media executive that ultimately led to his ouster from the network. Carlson later reached a $20 million settlement with Fox’s parent company, according to multiple media reports.
With the recent implosion of Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein’s career over decades of sexual misconduct settlements, many are crediting Carlson’s lawsuit as a watershed moment for raising public consciousness on the issue.
“Until recently, I had never publicly told any of these stories. In our culture, if you speak up against sexual harassment, you’re labeled a troublemaker, a bitch, or worse,” Carlson wrote.
“Twenty-five years later, you’d think things would have changed, but after my story made headlines last year, I found out that, even in 2017, every woman still has a story.”