Following reports of Ailes' departure from the company, parent company 21st Century Fox tweeted that "Roger (Ailes) is at work. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement."
After initial allegations against the 76-year-old executive, several women who work for the conservative network have come to his defense. Most recently, Megyn Kelly, who until now hasn't commented on the claims, recently leveled accusations of her own.
According to a probe conducted by 21st Century Fox, through New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, the Fox CEO made unwanted advances toward Kelly some ten years ago while she was a correspondent for the Fox News Washington bureau. It’s reported that Kelly spoke in detail about her experiences in dealing with Ailes.
Kelly’s revelations to investigators may help explain the decision by Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox, to remove Ailes from the network. Reportedly, Murdoch, along with his sons and company co-chairmen, Lachlan and James, gave Ailes until August 1 to either resign or be fired. Ailes and his legal team, which includes former Michael Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich, have not yet made a public statement regarding his departure.
Martha MacCallum, a Fox News co-host came to Ailes defense, saying, "I have had a great personal and professional relationship with Roger. He's always been very open. We've had a lot of great one-on-one conversations."
Sandra Smith, who hosts an all-female afternoon show on Fox News, claimed that she "was very surprised and a little bit confused," about the accusations. Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin claimed that she was "furious" when she heard about the allegations.
Kelly has developed a reputation as a feminist for the right, challenging Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his openly misogynistic comments. When Trump appeared on her Fox show, she pressed the billionaire, "You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals…. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton … that you are part of the war on women?"
After the interview Trump retreated to his Twitter account to call Kelly a "lightweight" and a "bimbo."
Ailes responded to Kelly’s comments in the probe with a move straight out of the Fox News playbook, by having employees attack her in the press. One Fox News employee told reporters that "Megyn is being selfish” for not defending Ailes, who gave her a start in news, remarking, “It’s pretty shocking actually."
The controversy surrounding Ailes was first brought to light by accusations from Gretchen Carlson, a former host on Fox News, claiming that the 76-year-old pressured her for sex when she first began working at the network, and targeted her for speaking out against mistreatment of women at the office.
Ailes is reported to have called Carlson a "man hater" and told her "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better." Carlson, the 1989 Miss America, also claims that Ailes once announced publicly that "he had slept with three former Miss Americas, but not with her," in reference to the anchor.