Transcript for Former Fox Booker Says Ailes Sexually Harassed Her for Years: Part 4
Laurie Luhn worked for Roger Ailes for more than two decades and she says for much of that time she was harassed, intimidated, and pressured into performing sexual favors. Laurie's story first exploded onto the pages of New York magazine and now she's sharing it exclusively with us. Tell me, first of all, why you've decided to speak out. Elizabeth, I think that I went through such hell for so many years. I finally felt safe when I saw that other women were speaking up. Reporter: Laurie says she was a naive 28-year-old when she first met Roger Ailes while working in a low-level job on George H.W. Bush's first presidential campaign. I wanted to meet him. I wanted to work for him. I was so excited. I introduced myself to him on the elevator. And then I think later on he ran into me in the hall, was super friendly and had acted like he'd remembered me. And I was flattered. Reporter: After the campaign ended, Laurie says she was financially strapped and desperate for a job when Ailes invited her for an interview with his firm. At the meeting, she says he asked her questions that felt more personal than professional. I think that he wanted to gauge what kind of a person I was. If I was insecure. If I was looking for a daddy figure. Reporter: He was sussing out your vulnerabilities? Absolutely. And I was real insecure. And I was in need of a job, which is why I was there. Reporter: Laurie says Ailes offered her work doing research. But it soon became clear that he was interested in more than just her work. One night Ailes was in Washington, D.C., working with president bush on a primetime speech he was delivering that night. Laurie says Ailes asked her to watch it on television and then come to his hotel room to share her feedback. And what did he tell you at that point? He said that I needed training. Reporter: You needed training? I needed training. Reporter: Meant? I didn't know. I was about to find out. Reporter: Laurie says Ailes told her to strip down to her lingerie and dance for him. Feeling intimidated and worried for her job, she says she did as she was told. Then what did he do? He would have me get down on my knees and tell me, "You know what you are, Laurie. You're my whore. You're my sex slave. You're gonna do whatever I tell you to do at any time. Do you understand that?" Reporter: Laurie says Ailes then instructed her to perform oral sex. I didn't question it. And that was his big thing. "Just don't ever question anything I ever ask you to do, Laurie." Reporter: Did you try to refuse? It was too late. The minute it happened, I knew that I'd been blackmailed. Because he did take photographs of me. And he would say, "This is just my little insurance policy. And I'm just gonna put it in a safe deposit box just to make sure you stay loyal to me." Reporter: According to Laurie that bizarre night was no aberrant incident. It would become a pattern that continued off and on for more than 20 years. He'd say, "I think you need some training. I think you're slipping up." Or, "You haven't had your training lately." Reporter: When Ailes launched Fox News in 1996, Laurie went along. First as a production assistant for Fox News Sunday. Although she was now rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful people in Washington, she says her secret relationship with Ailes had begun to feel like psychological torture. I never told a living soul. Reporter: About what was going on? Absolutely not. He reinforced with me how great he was. And he'd say, "I'm your only friend. I'm the only person in the world that you can trust. You can't trust anyone else." So you say that enough times to someone and it's reality. Reporter: Laurie says her silence and loyalty were rewarded with higher-paid positions. Eventually being named the director of booking at Fox News with a six-figure annual salary, but it all came at a price. I got a promotion. A big promotion. Afterwards I went in to see Roger, he said, "So, see, I told you I'd take care of you some day." He really let me know, "I want you to show me some gratitude for the --" Reporter: As in sexual? Yes. Reporter: Gratitude. Yes. Reporter: It's unbelievable that it would be that overt, that, "Okay, you finally got this big promotion. I told you I'd take care of you. Now go strip down --" And I was so excited. And then the next words were, "Go over to the doubletree and thank me." I kept on thinking it would end. You know, maybe he'd stop. And I actually didn't think that it would go on at fox. But it did continue. Reporter: You know people hearing this will say, "Why on Earth would you go along with this?" It's not like I was able to go and cry on the shoulder of some friend. I was completely isolated. I was isolated in the workplace. Reporter: What did you think would happen if you complained or tried to refuse? Have you ever seen Roger Ailes when he's unhappy? Reporter: No. I haven't. Yeah. It's not a good sight to see. It's pretty scary. Reporter: Laurie says her life began to unravel in 2007 when she was demoted at fox News because of talk in the company about her relationship with Ailes. My boss, bill shine, sent me to a psychiatrist. And finally, for the first time in over 20 years, I spoke up. And it all kind of came pouring out. Reporter: Laurie says the gravity of that admission triggered a nervous breakdown, landing in the hospital. Ultimately, she says she also knew it was time to stand up for herself. I wrote a letter to the legal counsel at Fox News. Reporter: What did you say in that letter? Well, I just said that I'd been harassed the whole time I'd been at fox and that I'd done my job. And I received no response. So it really wasn't until I had hired a lawyer. Reporter: Within weeks of hiring that lawyer and without filing a lawsuit, Laurie received a separation agreement worth more than $3 million. In 2011, after two decades of being under Ailes control, she says she was free. ABC news reached out Roger Ailes. He sent us this statement which reads in part, "Ms. Luhn is someone I once regarded as a friend and a person who I helped for many years. The stories she is telling now are fabrications built on half-truths and outright lies." So then why did fox pay you more than $3 million? Because he knew that it was the truth. I wasn't lying. Reporter: Laurie says she was stunned by Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit and all of the allegations that followed. I didn't realize the extent to which Roger really was a predator. Reporter: Even after all she's been through, Laurie admits her feelings towards Roger Ailes today remain complicated. In fact, in the summer of 2015, four years after cutting off contact with Ailes, she wrote him a letter. Why would you write him again last year asking for help finding a job? In about 1990, Roger got a hold of my brain. And sort of let me know that I'm -- he's the only one who would ever believe in me. And I think that maybe the little girl looking for the daddy figure is still saying, "Roger, look at me. Can you believe in me?" And it's very sad. Reporter: Do you think it undermines your credibility? I don't know. I don't really care. I know what happened to me. So, if your boss was
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