Gretchen Carlson may be suing her former boss for sexual harassment, but last year she wrote a book in which she called Roger Ailes “brilliant.”
The 50-year-old former co-host of “Fox & Friends” filed suit Wednesday against Fox News Channel boss Ailes, claiming he “sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”
In a statement, Ailes called the charges false and said the suit was in retaliation for the network’s decision not to renew Carlson’s program “The Real Story.”
Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox has said that it is conducting an internal review of Carlson’s charges.
But it’s clear that her allegations against Ailes are quite different than the portrait she painted of him in her 2015 book, “Getting Real.” There, the former Miss America described the one-time adviser to Richard Nixon as “brilliant” and a key reason she decided to leave her former employer, CBS.
“I thought Ailes was brilliant,” she wrote. “He was the first person in the television world to put opinion shows in prime time and it was working.”
“In person, Roger was razor sharp and inscrutable and we seemed to have a real connection,” Carlson added. “He saw something in me that he liked — what he called my ‘killer instinct.’ He once noted that I would stop at nothing to do the job. He got me. Over the years I’ve come to value our time together. He encourages me to be myself, to relax and to not try so hard to look smart. ‘People know you’re smart,’ he says.”
A representative for Carlson could not immediately provide a comment on the passages praising Ailes.