After the Fox News Chairman and CEO was sued for sexual harassment by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, numerous colleagues began flocking to Ailes’ defense. After Carlson’s sexual and retaliation lawsuit against Ailes had reached a settlement, those who once felt loyal to Ailes — including Greta Van Susteren — have shared their regret.
Now Griffin is sharing her experience with the former Fox News chief.
“I felt great loyalty to Roger Ailes,” says Griffin, 47, who has worked at Fox News for 20 years. (The network is celebrating its 20th anniversary amid the run-up to the election, and its anchor Chris Wallace moderated Wednesday night’s third and final Presidential debate.)
Griffin says Ailes “gave me tremendous opportunities in this business. However, what was revealed over the summer struck all of us within the Fox family — people who had been very loyal and had in many cases never experienced any of the things that were being discussed. It was very difficult to believe at first but when it became very clear that this was the case, it was a body blow for all of us. It was sickening, it was disappointing, it was a great sense of betrayal.”
Adds Griffin: “We felt that we had been duped over the years, and I can tell you that across the board we felt physically ill when we heard these revelations. But fortunately the network and Mr. Murdoch and his sons moved swiftly to respond, they responded correctly and they made all of us feel confident that this kind of behavior would never be tolerated.”
Griffin, who has spoken to Carlson since, says it took a “great deal of strength and courage” for women who had similar experiences with Ailes to come forward.
“This was a case where this was very well hidden and it’s a shame that it took so long for it to come out and that it went on as long as it did,” says Griffin. “But my hat is off as a woman working at that company and I think we all feel a degree of gratitude and indebtedness that women like Gretchen and Megyn [Kelly] were strong enough to speak up and it’s really an unfortunate chapter but it’s over. It’s over and we are moving on. We’re doing what we’ve always done, we’re covering the news.”