What do you do when you get ousted from your cable news network over sexual harassment allegations?
If you’re Roger Ailes, you write a book.
The former Fox News chairman — who resigned from the network late last week following a growing list of claims from women alleging that Ailes sexually harassed them — is telling his closest friends that he’s now concentrating his efforts on writing his autobiography, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.
“The book is a priority for him now,” one longtime friend of Ailes told CNN, which is also citing a second source who stated the same.
Whether he’ll use the tome to defend himself against harassment claims is not yet known.
With Ailes gone, 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch has assumed the role of chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel.
Ailes, credited with founding the network, exited in disgrace amid a lawsuit filed on July 6 by former “Real Story” host Gretchen Carlson, who accused her erstwhile boss of sexual harassment.
The parent company, 21st Century Fox, swiftly opened an ongoing investigation into the claims that remains ongoing.
Carlson’s lawsuit against Ailes claims he sexually propositioned her, then fired her in retaliation after she complained about discrimination and harassment. Ailes has called her claims “false” and “offensive,” and promised a vigorous defense.
While numerous Fox News employees have publicly defended Ailes, Megyn Kelly was oddly silent until a New York magazine report claimed she, too, was harassed by Ailes. Moreover, more women have claimed to have been sexually harassed by the former cable network head.
The last book Ailes wrote was “You Are the Message,” a popular political book that came out in 1988.
Ailes is set to get about $40 million as part of a severance agreement, according to media reports. That sum essentially equals the amount of money that he is still due under his current employment contract, which was set to expire in 2018. His departure deal also includes a provision that he not start a Fox News competitor, and he will remain as an interim adviser to Rupert Murdoch.
Ailes is a television and Republican icon whose departure from Fox News represents a precipitous fall from grace.
His autobiography would probably include the start of his career as a staffer on “The Mike Douglas Show” back in 1962 and promotion to executive producer in 1967. While there, Ailes developed a relationship with Richard Nixon and eventually worked on his presidential campaign.
Ailes has been a prominent member of the GOP ever since, working on several campaigns including George H.W. Bush’s successful 1988 presidential bid. He withdrew from political consulting in 1992, but is rumored to have advised Republican leaders in the years since, notably George W. Bush following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.