A veteran news executive who was once one of the most powerful women in TV news went public about an encounter with Roger Ailes, who stepped down as head of Fox News last month under pressure over sexual harassment allegations.
In a piece she wrote for the Daily Beast, Shelley Ross recounts an incident that took place in 1981. Ross, who was just beginning her TV career, met back then with Ailes to interview for a job with NBC’s “The Tomorrow Show,” which Ailes was producing.
Ross, who later became the executive producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” says she called Ailes to accept the job and he invited her to lunch the next day. During lunch, Ross writes, Ailes explained “how much he believed in loyalty and how much he believed the best expression of that loyalty comes in the form of a ‘sexual alliance.’”
“This was not a romantic or flirtatious conversation,” Ross writes. “‘Predatory’ is not quite accurate either. Roger expressed a true philosophical conviction that this would be mutually beneficial for us both, that he was looking for a partnership and it was somewhat special that he had chosen me. So perhaps ‘cultish’ needs to be in the mix.”
Ross goes on to recount the ensuing events in detail, including how corporate bosses got wind of the incident and how Ailes responded. We encourage readers to click on the link above to the Daily Beast to read the entire piece.