21st Century Fox responded to reports that Fox News Channel executive Roger Ailes is leaving the network following a slew of sexual harassment allegations.
In a statement, 21st Century Fox said that Ailes, 76, is currently still an employee. “Roger is at work,” the company said in a statement via Twitter on Tuesday, July 19. “The review is ongoing. And the only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”
Ailes’ attorney, Susan Estrich, shared a similar message in a recent interview. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter if her client was in talks to negotiate his exit from Fox, she replied, “There are a lot of ideas floating around, but no final decision has been made by anybody.”
“Roger wants Fox to be successful,” Estrich said when asked if Ailes wants to remain an executive at Fox. “The most important thing for Roger is that Fox News continues to be the No. 1 cable network.”
The statement from 21st Century Fox comes amid several reports that the chairman and CEO is negotiating his exit. An insider told New York Magazine on Tuesday that “three top executives at 21st Century Fox, have, according to multiple sources, decided that [he] needs to be removed.” The New York Times also reported that Ailes is in talks to leave.
As previously reported, former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson — who exited the show in June — filed a lawsuit in New Jersey earlier this month claiming Ailes had harassed her. After Carlson filed her suit, more women came forward alleging that they experienced similar behavior from Ailes during his days working as a producer in the '90s.
Ailes denied Carlson’s claims in a statement. “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false,” he wrote. “This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract,” which he attributed to ratings he labeled “disappointingly low.”
According to New York Magazine, Megyn Kelly, one of Fox News’ most beloved stars, reportedly told investigators that Ailes had made unwarranted sexual advances on her.
However, Estrich refuted those claims on Tuesday. “Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly,” Estrich, a partner at the Quinn Emanuel law firm, said in a prepared 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.”
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