Fox News' Ailes moves for arbitration in
Carlson employment case
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[July 09, 2016]
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - Lawyers for Fox News chairman
Roger Ailes on Friday asked a judge to halt anchor Gretchen Carlson's
"shameless publicity campaign" against her former boss, and send her
sexual harassment lawsuit against him to arbitration in accordance with
her employment contract.
The request came two days after Carlson sued Ailes in Superior Court in
New Jersey, portraying him as a persistent harasser who demoted her and
ultimately forced her from Fox News, her employer since 2005, after she
rebuffed his advances. Ailes has forcefully denied Carlson's
Carlson's lawyers, Nancy Erika Smith and Martin Hyman, said their client
intends to pursue her right to a public jury trial.
"Roger Ailes is trying to force this case into a secret arbitration
proceeding," the lawyers said in a statement. "Gretchen never agreed to
arbitrate anything with Mr. Ailes."
The parent of Fox News, 21st Century Fox Inc, late on Wednesday said it
had "full confidence" in Ailes and began an internal review of the
In filings with the federal court in Newark, New Jersey, Ailes' lawyers
said Carlson's June 2013 contract required her to arbitrate any
They accused Carlson of "gamesmanship" for suing only Ailes and not the
network as well, calling it a legally improper means to avoid
arbitration, and of conducting a public "tar and feather" campaign to
sully Ailes' reputation.
The lawyers also said that under federal law the case did not belong in
the New Jersey state court because Carlson lived in Connecticut and
Ailes in New York, and the amount of money at stake was too high.
"Plaintiff's ploy of filing in Superior Court to justify her shameless
publicity campaign against Roger Ailes should not be countenanced," the
Friday's filings included a copy of what Ailes' lawyers said was
Carlson's employment contract, which calls for employment disputes to be
heard by a three-person arbitration panel.
[to top of second column]
Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television
Stations, answers questions during a panel discussion at the
Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena,
California July 24, 2006. Picture taken July 24, 2006. REUTERS/Fred
Ailes, 76, a former Republican political consultant and confidant of
21st Century Fox Executive Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch, has built Fox
News over two decades into the most-watched U.S. cable news channel
and become one of the most powerful American media executives.
In her lawsuit, Carlson, 50, accused Ailes of sexually inappropriate
conduct such as calling her a "man hater," ogling her in his office
and telling her she was "sexy" but "too much hard work."
Carlson said Ailes removed her in 2013 as co-host of the morning
show "Fox & Friends" in retaliation for her refusal to accept his
advances and reassigned her at lower pay to an afternoon show. She
also said his decision on June 23 not to renew her contract was
The federal case is Carlson v Ailes, U.S. District Court, District
of New Jersey, No. 16-04138.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese
and Cynthia Osterman)
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