Tags: ailes | probe | sexual | harassment | criminal

Politico: Ailes, Fox News Probe Could Go Criminal

Politico: Ailes, Fox News Probe Could Go Criminal

By    |   Wednesday, 10 August 2016 08:38 PM

The high-profile accusations of sexual harassment against Fox News Channel's longtime Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes could mushroom into a criminal probe, Joe Pompeo reports in Politico’s Morning Media report.

Gretchen Carlson's sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes and the company touched off a firestorm of cascading events and reports of other indiscretions.

One of those reports brought to the surface the story of Laurie Luhn, who came forward detailing nearly 20 years of harassment and abuse at the hands of Ailes that eventually led to a reported $3.15 million severance payment, Politico reported.

However, Fox parent company 21st Century Fox said it had no knowledge of the severance, which could spell criminal trouble for Ailes if it's determined he misrepresented the hush money payments on the public company’s audited financial statements.

"Willful manipulation of financial documents (within) a publicly audited company is a crime. It's a violation of securities law pretty clearly," an unnamed source tells Politico.

Politico also notes that Ailes formed a special "black ops" war room targeting New York magazine editor Gabriel Sherman, who was then working on a biography of the Fox News chairman.

The report says Ailes made physical threats against Sherman and speculates Fox News may have even obtained phone records illegally.

Politico quotes a source close to Fox News: "If it ever came out [how far Ailes went in his campaign against Sherman], multiple people at Fox would go to jail."

So far, more than two dozen women who worked at Fox have come forward with their stories of harassment at the hands of Ailes and other executives, including Megyn Kelly and Andrea Tantaros, who faces the possibility of termination for her account.

Fox News parent company, 21st Century Fox, has been apparently aghast at the sordid disclosures.

Top New York law firm Paul, Weiss was immediately brought in to conduct a sweeping and independent review of the harassment allegations.

A spokesman for 21st Century Fox told the Financial Times that the company has been responding to the allegations.

"The fact is we have a robust compliance structure and strong controls embedded across our company," the spokesman said. "Within hours of the first public complaint raising an issue at Fox News, we commenced an investigation, and less than two weeks after that investigation began, the Chairman and CEO of Fox News departed." 

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Headline
The high-profile accusations of sexual harassment against Fox News Channel's longtime Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes could mushroom into a criminal probe, Joe Pompeo reports in Politico's Morning Media report.
ailes, probe, sexual, harassment, criminal
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2016-38-10
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 08:38 PM
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