New York City mayoral candidate and private investigator Bo Dietl told the Wall Street Journal that former Fox News boss Roger Ailes hired him to look into Gretchen Carlson’s past. Dietl said his services were also retained to discredit the claims of Andrea Mackris, a former producer who sued Bill O’Reilly for harassment in 2004 and ultimately received a $9 million settlement.
In their interview, Dietl told the newspaper that he had an investigator eavesdrop on Mackris’ conversations at an establishment, “in an effort to show she wasn’t under duress from alleged harassment.”
Federal authorities are currently looking into Ailes’ use of Dietl “to probe the backgrounds of people perceived to be a threat to either Mr. Ailes or the channel,” the Journal wrote.
Late last month, the U.S. Justice Department expanded its investigation of Fox News Channel and began looking into “friends” that former network chief Roger Ailes kept on the payroll — like former on-air contributor Dietl, who plans to challenge Bill de Blasio in November.
Investigators have been asking “about mysterious confidants of Ailes — people who were known inside Fox as ‘friends of Roger,'” CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote at the time.
Stelter continued: “Ailes, through Fox News, employed a number of longtime friends as consultants, for purposes that remain unknown. One of the consultants earned $10,000 a month by submitting a monthly invoice to Fox.”
Earlier this year, CNN reported that the government would focus its investigation on settlements made with women who had accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, like Carlson.
Ailes stepped down in disgrace last year after numerous women came forward with similar claims to her’s. The government has been investigating whether Fox News should have informed shareholders about the settlement payouts, in case you were wondering where they come in.
According to CNN, government officials have been asking “how the shareholder money was spent; who knew; and who should have known,” and have now started looking into people that Ailes kept on the Fox News payroll for unknown reasons.