Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson writes in her memoir that she regrets not speaking up about sexual harassment earlier in her career.
Carlson, who filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes this week, writes in her book “Getting Real” about men who harassed her in other circumstances.
At one point she describes a meeting with an unnamed public relations executive in Los Angeles just as she was breaking into news media. She says the man grabbed her head and shoved it towards his crotch.
“I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t flee, although in that unfamiliar setting I’m not sure where I would have gone,” she writes. “But I spent sleepless nights wondering what I should do next. Should I tell someone? I thought of the innocent young women who would be crossing these high-profile predators’ paths, and it upset me. But whom could I tell? Who would believe me? In my heart I knew that such a he-said, she-said scenario would never favor me. These men were just too powerful. I imagined myself being characterized as a tease, a liar, and worse, and I was frozen with terror. I’m not proud of it, but I stayed silent.”
She adds that while working at Fox News years later she saw the same man walk past her office door, saying that she shut her door so he wouldn’t see her, then checked to make sure the coast was clear before running for the elevator.
In her complaint, Carlson said that Ailes made “lewd innuendo,” ogled her and demanded sex in exchange for improving her job. In a statement, Ailes called the lawsuit “defamatory” and said it was filed in retaliation after her contract was not renewed due to low ratings.