Jan 26, 2023 - World

Ex-Fox News staffer files suit alleging Roger Ailes sexually abused her

The late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in New York City in 2012. Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

A former Fox News employee who alleges its late CEO Roger Ailes sexually abused her for years is accusing the network of "enabling" it and "actively covering" it up. Fox News strongly denies the claims.

Driving the news: Former booker Laura Luhn alleges in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York against Fox News Network, its parent company 21st Century Fox and former network executive Bill Shine that Ailes "used his position as the head of Fox News to trap" her in a yearslong "cycle of sexual abuse."

Zoom in: The suit states that Luhn worked for Fox News for almost 15 years and alleges that during her time there Ailes photographed and videotaped her in "compromising positions," which he allegedly used as "blackmail material" that he described as his "insurance policy."

  • The suit alleges that Ailes physically forced Luhn to perform sex acts on him regularly, that he constantly reminded her that he "owned" her and that she was his "sex slave."

What they're saying: Fox News Media said in an emailed statement Thursday: "This matter was settled years ago, dismissed in subsequent litigation, and is now meritless."

The big picture: Ailes faced several other harassment claims in the past, including from Megyn Kelly and other Fox News employees, and before his death in 2017, denied all accusations made against him.

  • Shine is not accused of harassment in the suit and has previously denied knowledge of the allegations against Ailes while working at Fox, Vanity Fair notes.

Of note: Luhn filed the suit under New York State's new Adult Survivors Act, a law that reopens the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims.

  • Representatives for Shine could not be immediately reached for comment.

Go deeper: Timeline... How Fox responded to Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly

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