Smith said Ailes "never" made homophobic remarks around him

By Stephanie Petit
Updated October 17, 2016 11:18 AM

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is getting candid about his sexuality in a new interview with the Huffington Post, specifically defending former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes from claims that he had stopped Smith from coming out publicly during his time at the conservative news network.

“That’s not true,” Smith said. “He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father. I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”

Smith also said Ailes, 76, “never” made homophobic remarks around him.

“He treated me with respect, just respect,” he said. “I wasn’t new in the business when I came here ― I’d been doing reporting for 12 years ― but I wasn’t old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”

Ailes was forced to leave the network this summer in the wake of sexual harassment claims by Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.