In a complaint filed in New York state Supreme Court on Monday, April 3, 2017, Julie Roginsky, left, said she was pressured to defend Fox News head Roger Ailes when Gretchen Carlson filed a harassment complaint against him. (AP)
A Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor on Monday sued the network and its former chairman, Roger Ailes, accusing them of denying her a permanent hosting job after rebuffing Ailes’ sexual advances.
Julie Roginsky also said in her lawsuit filed in New York state court that a misogynistic culture at Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, had not changed since Ailes resigned last year in the wake of a separate sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
Roginsky, 43, has appeared regularly on Fox News programs since 2011 and writes a column for the network’s website.
Susan Estrich, a lawyer for Ailes, said in a statement that Roginsky’s claims were “total hogwash.”
“This is about someone who wants to pile-on in a massive character assassination in order to achieve what she did not accomplish on the merits,” Estrich said.
Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Roginsky’s action follows other allegations, including at least two separate lawsuits, against Fox News and Ailes by women who claimed they were sexually harassed by the 76-year-old founder of the network.
In the lawsuit, Roginsky said Ailes in early 2015 told her he was considering her for a full-time slot on “The Five,” a highly-rated talk show featuring a rotating panel of guests. But the job never materialized, and she lost her spot as a contributor on the show, after she declined his advances, she said.
Roginsky also said she has had less time on air since then, and it is has damaged her career.
She also sued Bill Shine, the co-president of Fox, claiming he failed to investigate her claims after they met to discuss Ailes’ conduct. Roginsky is seeking unspecified damages under a New York City law that prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Fox last year agreed to pay $20 million to settle Carlson’s claims that her contract was not renewed because she rebuffed Ailes.
A separate sexual harassment lawsuit filed last year by former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros was sent to private arbitration.
The New York Times on Saturday reported that Fox had paid out at least $13 million to five women to settle claims that they were sexually harassed by anchor Bill O’Reilly, who has denied the claims.
The New York Times has also reported that Fox News is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation, potentially involving secret settlements paid over allegations of sexual harassment.