Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro Defends Roger Ailes, Denies Rumored 'Pressure' for Women to Avoid Pants
"I'm a huge fan of Roger Ailes, not just in terms of his personality and the man I never thought I would work for, but more than that," Pirro tells PEOPLE
Speaking to PEOPLE about the situation, Pirro, 65, admits she’s “a huge fan of Ailes” and not once did she ever feel uncomfortable around the network’s 76-year-old chairman.
“I’ve had lunch with him,” she begins. “I’ve been in his office with him. We’ve had phone conversations over the years until I actually started working for him. Before I worked for him, I was very often on Fox and in a lot of the other stations because I was a DA. It was around the time that the O.J. Simpson case broke. I would call him for advice.”
“He had a wicked sense of humor, savvy,” she adds. “I’m kind of a straight shooter, in-your-face kind of person and he was that kind of no-nonsense guy. I just loved him.”
Pirro, a former prosecutor and judge, also says that Ailes has always been a “delight” to be around.
“When I started working for him, it was a little different,” she says. “It was a little more distant because he was running Fox. He always had a smile on his face and always was a delight. I’m a huge fan of Roger Ailes, not just in terms of his personality and the man I never thought I would work for, but more than that. I think he’s a giant. I think he’s does stuff in media that people said he couldn’t. I have tremendous admiration for him.”
As for her on-air appearance at Fox News, Pirro insists that she wears what she wants and does her own thing in regards to her wardrobe.
“I feel no pressure,” she says. “I wear what I want. I wear things that I think are attractive … the lighting ain’t bad either. [Laughs] I do my own thing. I do my own hair the way I want to style it. I wear the clothes I want to wear.”
Pirro also says that she’s never heard of a rule that forbids on-air female talent from wearing pants.
“I have never, ever heard that. Never,” she says. “Most of the women look great, they want to look great, they work out, there’s a certain self-esteem. I’ve seen women wear pants. You don’t see it on most television stations. Most women, across the board irrespective, wear dresses. You don’t even think about it.”
On Wednesday, Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes, alleging that he “has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused sexual advances and complained about severe pervasive sexual harassment.”
Ailes responded to the allegations in a statement – obtained by PEOPLE – in which he calls the claims “retaliatory” and “false.”