Gretchen Carlson may have penned private notes asking Roger Ailes for more airtime, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t upset about alleged sexual harassment from the Fox News boss, her lawyers say.
Carlson, the former host of “The Real Story” who was axed from the network in June, sued Ailes this week for “severe and pervasive sexual harassment.” Late Thursday TheWrap reported that she sent Ailes handwritten notes pleading for more TV exposure in the weeks after she now claims he had crudely propositioned her.
On Friday, her legal team fired back.
“There is nothing in those notes that is inconsistent with Gretchen’s claims of harassment and retaliation,” attorneys Nancy Erika Smith and Martin Hyman wrote in a joint statement provided to TheWrap. “They show that Gretchen was devoted to her career and confident in her abilities. She wanted the retaliation to stop so she could continue to do her job and return to higher profile assignments like the ones she had before she complained of harassment.”
The letters show Carlson using her personal connection to Ailes to try to finagle more camera time. She expresses thanks for her boss’ past support and reminds him of her strengths.
“I’ve been a loyal employee whose [sic] worked really hard at Fox for more than 10 years,” Carlson wrote on a thank-you card dated September 21, 2015. That was a week after she now says Ailes propositioned her.
In the same letter, she asks Ailes for time on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Fox & Friends” in order “to promote my show.”