A former Fox News employee said Roger Ailes told her she was his “sex slave” and took videos of the abuse to use as “blackmail,” but the network dismissed claims that “boys will be boys.” says in the lawsuit.
- Laura Lune has accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment for years.
- Lun filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging that Fox News turned on and covered up the abuse.
- In a statement to Insider, Fox called the allegations against the network “baseless”.
A former Fox News employee who accused Roger Ailes of sexually harassing her for years filed a lawsuit against the network on Wednesday, alleging she facilitated and covered up the violence.
Laura Lun, who worked as a booker at Fox, first came forward with allegations against Ailes, the former CEO and chairman of Fox News, in 2016 after other allegations against Ailes surfaced. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in New York State, details the alleged abuse as well as attempts to silence and intimidate her.
“Ailes’ abuse of Lun was one of the worst he inflicted on his many victims,” the lawsuit says, adding: “He physically forced Lun to perform regular oral sex on him. And he constantly reminded Luna that he “owned” her, that she was his “sex slave”, and that she was forbidden to tell anyone about the abuse, otherwise he would make her pay dearly.
The lawsuit also accused Ailes of “blackmailing” Lun with photographs and recordings of their meetings: “All this time, Ailes held over his head the photographs and videos of Lun that he had, at various times describing them as his “insurance policy.” telling Moon that he kept them in a safe deposit box and reminding Moon of his “demand of loyalty” and the fact that he “owned” her.
The suit involved Fox News, Twenty-First Century Fox and William Shine, a former Fox News executive who also briefly worked in the Trump White House. He accuses Fox News of “directly facilitating” and “actively covering up” the abuses, and alleges that corporate leadership was aware of the abuses committed by Ailes and others but “did nothing to stop it,” instead engaging in “coordinated public smear campaigns.” » against the victims. .
Lun wrote a letter to Fox’s general counsel in 2011 detailing her allegations against Ailes, eventually agreeing with the network to keep her salary until retirement age, or $250,000 over 12 years, according to the lawsuit on Wednesday. which claimed that Fox withheld 30% of the payout as if they were wages. New York Magazine previously reported that the settlement includes complex non-disclosure provisions and prohibits Luna from ever going to court against Fox or going to government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the FBI.
In a statement obtained by Insider on Wednesday, Fox News said, “This matter was settled many years ago, dismissed in subsequent litigation, and is without merit.”
Among the allegations regarding the network’s handling of alleged abuses, the lawsuit stated that Fox News agents would say that Ailes was “just having a hard time” or “boys will stay boys”. Lun said that when she reported being groped by a “famous political analyst” who appeared regularly on Fox, she was also told, “Boys will stay boys. Bill Clinton is the same.”
According to the lawsuit, the years of abuse Lun endured led her to a “mental breakdown” and she still “can’t function normally in daily life” with frequent flashbacks of the abuse.
In a statement provided to Insider, Barbara Whiten Balliett, Lun’s attorney and partner at Reid Collins & Tsai LLP, said: “This case is about finally securing justice for Ms. Lun. Sexual assault she suffered while working at Fox News. was one of the worst you can imagine. This violence has gone on for years and has been known to some of the most powerful people at Fox News, but no one has stepped in to help or stop what was happening to Ms. Lun.”
She also recognized the Adult Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2022 and provided a one-year window for sexual assault survivors to sue their abusers regardless of the statute of limitations.
“New York’s Adult Victims Act recognizes the lifelong trauma victims of sexual assault can suffer. Its hindsight window recognizes this harm and allows victims like Ms. Lun to correct mistakes just like these,” Balliett said.
Lun is one of several women, including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, who have accused Ailes of sexual harassment or harassment. Ailes left Fox in 2016, continuing to deny the allegations, and died the following year.
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