Fox News host Greta Van Susteren has fired back at people who criticize her for defending former boss Roger Ailes when Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual harassment.
“Let’s first get something straight: I did not sexually harass anyone (of course.). And second, I did not know about any sexual harassment and keep it secret,” Van Susteren wrote on her GretaWire blog.
She also said she still does not know what really happened, but applauded Carlson for speaking out.
“PS ‘Gretchen, you go girl.’ She KNEW about it and SPOKE up. She had the courage. She did not sit silent. I have no idea what did or did not happen. I have no idea what will happen or not happen with her lawsuit,” Van Susteren said.
The “On the Record” host was a staunch supporter of Ailes, who stepped down in disgrace as CEO and chairman of Fox News after Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit resulted in several women coming forward with similar claims. Back on July 8, before Ailes stepped down, Van Susteren told TheWrap: “If there were something weird going on … I would have heard it.”
Van Susteren said that once she went for a drink with Carlson, who expressed that she was unhappy at Fox News.
“She was unhappy that she was not getting air time — not sexual harassment — and because she bent my ear about it for such a long time is the only reason I now remember it. She was very angry whether justified or not. But for her upset about it, and the length of the conversation, I would not have remembered the conversation. That is really all I ever knew about Gretchen,” Van Susteren wrote.
She continued: “Her sexual allegations, as best I can now figure out, occurred after that date of that drink, but I am not sure. If it had occurred before, I wish she had said something to me about sexual harassment because I certainly would have given her guidance.”
Van Susteren explained in the blog post that since she worked in Washington while Carlson worked in New York, they rarely spoke.
But when she spoke to TheWrap last month, Van Susteren said, “There is a big difference between allegations and facts… I’ve spent 15 years as an employee of Roger Ailes and I’ve never even seen it or heard it.”
She explained the situation in the blog post.
“It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to her, it only meant when asked in early July I was telling what I knew. Period. I was surprised by it all as I am sure others were too,” she wrote. “I was not someone who knew about any sexual harassment and didn’t speak up. Period.”
She says Erik Wemple of the Washington Post has specifically criticized her for defending Ailes. She calls Wemple’s charges “absurd.”
“Some reporters, with their own personal agendas, write what they want to believe….and even try to smear. It is a disgraceful means to try to advance one’s career,” she wrote.
Van Susteren continued: “Wimple [sic] says I should apologize. I would like an apology from some women who knew about sexual harassment in the workplace years ago but did not slip an anonymous source note under the door of HR (yes anonymous without sufficient data to identify themselves.) That anonymous note might have prevented this from happening to other women, including Gretchen. And I would like an apology from Wimple [sic] who is a smear merchant. He doesn’t have a clue — he is just tying to jump into a hot media topic with a ‘me, too.'”