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Roger Ailes resigns from Fox News after sexual harassment allegations

Roger Ailes.
Roger Ailes. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

21st Century Fox has confirmed that Roger Ailes has resigned from the organization.

The company said that Rupert Murdoch, the it’s executive chairman, would run Fox News and its sister Fox Business Network, which Ailes had also led, until a successor could be found.

The news follows the July 6 lawsuit launched by former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson that claims she was fired after she refused the former CEO’s sexual advances.

An internal investigation into the claims was quickly launched, and The Guardian reports more than 20 women, including Megyn Kelly, accused the 76-year-old of making unwanted advances.

“According to her legal team, the new accusations range in time from Ailes’s current tenure at Fox News all the way back to his role in the ’60s as executive producer on The Mike Douglas Show,” the outlet reports. “Almost all of the 20-plus women claim they experienced Ailes’s harassment firsthand.”

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There’s no word yet on what Ailes’s settlement is, though on Wednesday, New York magazine‘s editor Gabriel Sherman tweeted several updates.

 

READ MORE: Gretchen Carlson sues Fox News boss for sexual harassment after being fired

Carlson, who was with the network for 11 years, was let go on June 23 when her contract wasn’t renewed. During her time with the outlet she hosted several programs, including Fox & Friends and The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.

The 50-year-old former Miss America alleges her firing came nine months after Ailes, her boss, told her during a meeting “you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.”

The lawsuit continues saying Ailes allegedly ogled her, repeatedly commented on her legs, urged her to wear clothes that enhanced her figure and told her she was sexy but “too much hard work.”

After complaining about his advances, the anchor claims he retaliated by stripping her of her title on Fox & Friends, reducing the appearances she made on Bill O’Reilly’s primetime program (Fox’s highest-rated show), reducing her salary and scaling back the marketing support she received.

Six women have spoken out publicly about the charges, saying Carlson wasn’t alone.

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Each of them were interviewed by New York magazine — two on the record, four anonymously — and had similar tales that included sexual propositions and the fending off of unwanted advances.

“I didn’t tell my husband, it was so mortifying,” said Marsha Callahan, a former model who claimed Ailes harassed her in the late ’60s.

One anonymous “media consultant” shared this tale: “He had a room, and one by one he would take us behind closed doors. When my turn came I went in, and he didn’t waste any time. He grabbed me and had his hands on me and he forced me to kiss him. When I recoiled he said, “Well, you know no girls get a job here unless they’re cooperative.” I just pushed him away and ran out of there.”

That’s not to say Ailes hasn’t had his fair share of support from public figures.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck recently commented on the situation in a statement released to ET.

READ MORE: Elisabeth Hasselbeck defends Fox News CEO Roger Ailes amid sexual harassment allegations

The former Survivor cast member said, “Speaking from my personal experience, working with Roger Ailes and with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade was by far the most rewarding time in my 16-year broadcasting career… Because Roger, Steve, and Brian consistently treated me with overwhelming respect, and pure-hearted kindness, for which I am forever thankful.”

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The 39-year-old was a co-host of the network’s popular Fox & Friends program from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, she was a co-host of The View.

Several other female Fox News anchors have come forward to defend him as well, including Sandra Smith, Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Martha MacCallum.

One of Ailes’s outside council members, Barry Asen, responded to the allegations earlier this month saying, “It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.”

Another lawyer, Susan Estrich, denied he sexually harassed Kelly.

READ MORE: Fox News chief Roger Ailes denies harassing Megyn Kelly

“Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly,” Estrich said. “In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.”

– With files from The Associated Press