Roger Ailes, the embattled boss of Fox News Channel, is denying reports that he sexually harassed anchor Megyn Kelly, a rising star at the network.
“Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly,” Susan Estrich, one of Ailes’ lawyers, wrote in a statement. “In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her to achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.”
Ailes has been the target of controversy since July 6, when former Fox host Gretchen Carlson filed a suit accusing him of sexual harassment, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the No. 1-rated cable news network, has since announced that it was opening an internal investigation into the matter.
By midday Tuesday, multiple news reports emerged claiming that Ailes was officially out at the network, but Fox responded that he was still at work and that the investigation is ongoing.
A number of women who work at Fox News have come forward to defend Ailes. But Kelly — who famously clashed with Donald Trump during a debate last year when she asked the GOP candidate about his treatment of women — was conspicuous in her silence.
A report this week said that Kelly had told lawyers that she too had been harassed by Ailes. Kelly has not publicly denied that report.
Last year however, she praised Ailes to PBS host Charlie Rose. “He’s absolutely a mentor to me,” Kelly said. “He’s also a friend. He’s — he is my boss. I mean, we’re not equals. But I depend on him for friendship and honest advice and he’ll give it to me.”