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En av Fox News ankerkvinder, Gretchen Carlson, sagsøger styreformanden Roger Ailes, for forsøg på seksuell udpressing. Sagen kommer meget ubelejlig for Fox News der skal koncentrere sig om valgkampen.

The startling accusations immediately transfixed the world of television news, where Mr. Ailes is a hugely influential figure known for demanding absolute loyalty from his employees.

A spokeswoman for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit — filed in Superior Court in New Jersey, where Mr. Ailes maintains a residence — portrays the Fox chairman as a loutish and serial sexual harasser, accusing him of ogling Ms. Carlson in his office, calling her “sexy” and making sexually charged comments about her physical appearance.

Ms. Carlson, who joined Fox in 2005, contends that during a meeting last fall to discuss her concerns that she was not being treated fairly, Mr. Ailes 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.”

When she rebuffed him, the lawsuit claims, Mr. Ailes retaliated by reducing Ms. Carlson’s salary, curtailing her on-air appearances and, ultimately, declining to renew her contract last month.

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