Fox News broadcaster Megyn Kelly has told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that her boss, Roger Ailes, has sexually harassed her in the past, and Ailes has now been asked to resign by Aug. 1 or face termination over the recently surfaced allegations about his workplace behavior, according to a report by New York magazine.
Twenty-first Century Fox, the media giant that owns Fox News Channel, declined to comment. Spokespeople for Fox News, the conservative-leaning cable news network founded by Ailes in 1996, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Ailes, who's Fox News' chairman and CEO, was sued on July 6 by former Fox broadcaster Gretchen Carlson, who claimed that her career was sabotaged by Ailes after she refused his sexual advances. He has vigorously denied the allegation, saying her lawsuit is a retaliatory measure for the network's refusal to renew her contract in June. She was let go, Ailes said, due to the low ratings of her show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.
Twenty-first Century Fox, while expressing confidence in Ailes, has hired law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to conduct an investigation into Carlson's claims. After reviewing the probe's initial findings, 21st Century Fox's top executives -- executive chairman Rupert Murdoch; his eldest son and co-executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch; and CEO James Murdoch, Murdoch's younger son -- have agreed to remove Ailes, according to the New York magazine report. It was written and reported by Gabriel Sherman, who's authored a critical biography of Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room.
Ailes now has a deadline of Aug. 1 to resign or face being fired for cause, the report said.
Several female Fox broadcasters, including Greta Van Susteren and Jeanine Pirro, have come out in support of Ailes in recent days. But the notable silence from Kelly, the network's rising star, on the matter has raised eyebrows among industry watchers.
In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2015, Kelly said Ailes was her mentor. "He's also a friend," she said. "I depend on him for friendship and sane, honest advice. He gives you advice on personal life, who you are and how you're translating on television. He has this x-ray vision into your soul."