Fox News host Jeanine Pirro says her former colleague Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, is “absurd.”
Asked by TheWrap if Ailes ever subjected her to the kind of sexual advances Carlson said her boss made toward her in September 2015, Pirro replied: “Are you kidding? That is so absurd.”
“When I read what was clearly absurdities, in this complaint, I said to myself, ‘How sad that you’ve got this woman who is making these complaints when there are real victims out there,'” Pirro told TheWrap.
The suit, filed on Wednesday in Bergen County, New Jersey, claims the “Real Story” host refused Ailes’ sexual advances and “as a direct and proximate result” her relationship with Fox News was severed last month. (In a statement, Ailes called Carlson’s accusations “false” and added, “This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”)
“Honestly, this is a decent man and I have spent my career fighting for women. I have no bones about criticizing someone when they deserve to be criticized. But this is ridiculous,” Pirro said.
Carlson’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Pirro first met Ailes 30 years ago when she was an assistant district attorney in New York and has worked for him for almost a decade. She said that she “wanted to get involved” when she heard about Carlson’s lawsuit because she “felt very strongly” that Ailes isn’t capable of the kind of abuse Carlson says he subjected her to.
“I know the man. I have been in a room with him. I’ve been alone with him. He has never said or done anything [inappropriate]. He is brilliant, witty, funny and a genius,” Pirro said.
The court filing alleges Ailes said to Carlson on Sept. 16, 2015: “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.”
Carlson seeks a “trial by jury with respect to all issues that are so triable [sic],” according to the suit, adding that the loss of employment has caused “significant economic, emotional and professional harm.”
“Justice With Judge Jeanine” said that Carlson never filed a complaint to human resources.
“This whole complaint and the allegations are absurd,” Pirro said. “The idea that Roger Ailes sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances… are you kidding? This guy is doing 8 million things a day. You really think that he’s chasing her around?”
Pirro said she doesn’t think someone who has achieved the success that Ailes has would throw it all away with reckless behavior. “This is a man who knows how to manage his talent. He knows what he’s doing and this is so inconsistent with the man that I know,” Pirro said. “I don’t know that she, the plaintiff, even has a friend in that building.”