08:18 GMT01 March 2021
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    Hosts of some of Fox News’ most popular shows have threatened to leave the network if CEO Roger Ailes is forced to depart amid recent sexual harassment allegations. Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and Bill O’Reilly have threatened to leave the network if parent company 21st Century Fox gives Ailes the boot.

    Since former Fox host Gretchen Carlson and current host Megyn Kelly have leveled accusations of sexual misconduct against the 76-year-old executive, O’Reilly, Van Susteren and Hannity have come to his defense. 

    Hannity tweeted that the accusations are "BS" and that he has "spoken to many women who work at Fox that have the most amazing stories of how kind Roger is to them." During an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, O’Reilly stated that Ailes conduct and the fallout from it is a "very sad situation," adding, "I’ve worked for Roger Ailes for 20 years. Best boss I’ve ever had. Straight shooter, always honest with me. And I believe that, over the years — he’s been in the business for 50 years — 95 percent of the people who have worked for Roger Ailes would say exactly the same thing that I just told you." O’Reilly claims that Ailes is a "target" and that damning accusations can be directed at almost any "famous, powerful or wealthy person."

    "Of course, the first thing that occurred to me is that, unfortunately, we have a disgruntled employee, a colleague," said Van Susteren, who claims that Carlson’s allegations are simple revenge. "I read that her show wasn't being renewed and, being a lawyer, I thought she got angry. I deal with Roger Ailes often. I've often been alone with Roger Ailes in his office over the course of 15 years and I've never seen anything like what I'm reading about in the papers and the magazine." 

    Van Susteren has been at Fox News for 15 years and claims her stature at the network would have made her aware of the executive’s misconduct.

    She said, "People come to me because I've been there so long, that's why this doesn't have any ring of truth to me. I would have heard it. People don't keep things silent."

    The three hosts reportedly have clauses in their contracts that allow for their departure should Ailes leave the network. 

    Carlson was the first prominent woman on Fox News to accuse Ailes of harassment, claiming he called her a "man hater" for defending women who were mistreated at the network, and telling 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."

    The most recent accusations have come from Megyn Kelly, who told investigators that Ailes first made unwanted sexual advances to her about 10 years ago when she started at Fox News as a correspondent for the network’s Washington DC bureau.


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