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Report: Court Documents Reveal Roger Ailes Accused of Urging Top News Corp. Executive To Lie To Federal Investigators

Feb 25, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Court documents filed in a lawsuit allege that former News Corp. executive Judith Regan–who was with News. Corp. division HarperCollins–accused Roger Ailes, currently president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group, of urging Regan to lie to federal investigators in 2004, reports The New York Times.

The article states, "It was an incendiary allegation–and a mystery of great intrigue in the media world: After the publishing powerhouse Judith Regan was fired by HarperCollins in 2006, she claimed that a senior executive at its parent company, News Corporation, had encouraged her to lie two years earlier to federal investigators who were vetting Bernard B. Kerik for the job of homeland security secretary. 

"Ms. Regan had once been involved in an affair with Mr. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner whose mentor and supporter, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, was in the nascent stages of a presidential campaign. The News Corporation executive, whom she did not name, wanted to protect Mr. Giuliani and conceal the affair, she said.

"Now, court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik."

The story adds that a "a News Corporation spokeswoman did not deny that Mr. Ailes was the executive on the recording. But the spokeswoman, Teri Everett, said News Corporation had a letter from Ms. Regan ‘stating that Mr. Ailes did not intend to influence her with respect to a government investigation.’ Ms. Everett added, ‘The matter is closed.’ Ms. Everett declined to release the letter, and Ms. Regan’s lawyer, Robert E. Brown, said the News Corporation’s description of the letter did not represent Ms. Regan’s complete statement."

The article also notes that "It is unclear whether the existence of the tape played a role in News Corporation’s decision to move quickly to settle a wrongful termination suit filed by Ms. Regan, paying her $10.75 million in a confidential settlement reached two months after she filed it in 2007."

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