Gretchen Carlson on Dealing with Sexual Harassment at Work: Part 3

Early in her career, Carlson said she was sexually harassed by a cameraman and she shares her advice for women.
7:03 | 11/19/16

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Transcript for Gretchen Carlson on Dealing with Sexual Harassment at Work: Part 3
Reporter: Gretchen Carlson first arrived in New York in the fall of 1988, taking a victory lap as the new, reigning miss America. But she soon learned not everyone respects the crown. It was really upsetting, because it was actually a female reporter who really tried to take me down at my first press conference in New York City. What is real on you and what isn't real? Everything on me is real. Your hair's that natural color? Except for a few highlights. A few highlights. Yes. Where are they? Can you show us? I don't know, they pick them out randomly when they do it. Reporter: Carlson says the brash and unabashed local news fixture, penny crone, apparently thought she'd found a beauty queen she could bully. She basically said, "I'm here to give you a test, because people say you're smart." Do you know who's on the $20 bill? No. Do you know who's on the $5 bill? Lincoln, I believe. And she finally ended her barrage of questions by saying -- Have you had sex yet or are you waiting to get married? No comment on that. Reporter: But crone wouldn't be the last to learn this was no shrinking violet. It was pretty astonishing for a 22-year-old woman who had just accomplished something pretty spectacular to be faced with that kind of demeaning question. Reporter: Carlson refused to be rattled. And, she also refused to forget that encounter. About ten years later I ran into that same reporter. And I thought, "Should I?" And I said, "Yes." I said, "You don't remember who I am. But when I was miss America you tried to take me down. And I just want to let you know that I'm now a correspondent for CBS news and you're not." And it felt fantastic. Reporter: But learning to stand up for herself only came with time. Early in her TV career, Carlson says she was sexually harassed once again. I think I had only been working maybe three to six months. Reporter: It was a photographer. It was a photographer and he put the microphone under my blouse. I still remember it was a blue blouse. Reporter: She considered it fairly routine until, back in the news van, she says the cameraman began making sexually suggestive comments about her breasts. He started asking me questions about how I felt when he had to touch my private parts. And I thought, "Whoa -- this is not a safe conversation." This was before cell phones. And we were in a rural area. And I had the ability to go to a pay phone to get help. But I didn't. Reporter: Why? Well, I'd only been in this job for a couple of months. And I didn't want to cause any waves. Reporter: She planned to stay silent, but then she says her news director noticed she was visibly shaken. He was asking me many times what was wrong. And I kept saying, "Nothing." And he said, "No, I really want to know what's wrong." And so I told him. When situations like that happen to women, you fear that it's gonna be your fault. You're not gonna be believed. You're gonna lose your job. Reporter: You're gonna be that woman. You're gonna be that woman that -- Reporter: You're a troublemaker, not a whistleblower -- Troublemaker. Exactly. A troublemaker. Reporter: Always the journalist, Carlson must have noticed a tinge of familiarity mixed in with my empathy. I'm just gonna go out on a limb and ask if sexual harassment's ever happened to you? Reporter: It has. And it's something that I think has happened to so many women. And most of us say nothing. I know that when I have young women who are getting into the business I always want to warn them. If someone who is higher up than you suddenly asks you to dinner it's not always about how great an employee you are. Sometimes you just have to be aware that there are ulterior motives. And whether or not you say anything. Reporter: Most of us don't. Why don't we say anything? I think part of the battle for some women. They think, "If I just work a little bit harder all this will go away." But I don't think we should judge women if they have waited. Because look at how we react to women when they finally do come forward. They're accused of making it up. Reporter: Do you remember the moment when you said to yourself, "I'm ready and I'm prepared to take on the most powerful man in television"? I wish I could answer that. But I can't. Reporter: Because of her landmark settlement agreement with Fox News, Carlson was unable to answer any of those questions about the allegations she made after her departure. But she's coming forward tonight because she believes she has advice for other women. How important is actual evidence in proving a sexual harassment case? Very important, because of the he said/she said. But people would be very interested to know that if they're considering trying to arm themselves with any kind of evidence, you should check what your laws are in your particular state. Reporter: Would you encourage women to audio tape, to record, to somehow document? I would encourage women to document, yes. Reporter: Do you think that there is something particular about a woman that could make her more vulnerable to these types of workplace predators? No. And when I've heard that in recent weeks and months that, well, particular strong women, you know, they would just find another job. Really? Because I consider myself to be a pretty damn strong woman. And finding another job is not a realistic way to solve this problem. Women should not have to face this in the workplace. Period. Reporter: You and I are fortunate. We have means. So a lot of people, who are dealing with sexual harassment, say, "Whbt am I supposed to do? I can't afford to lose this job." What do you say to those women? I say that we as a country have to come up with a solution for every single one of them, and that's what I hope to at least start the discussion on. Reporter: For starters, Carlson's planning to testify before congress against what she calls "Forced arbitration," the fine print in some employees' contracts that prevents them from taking harassment claims into public court. What it technically means is that if this happens to you at work nobody will ever know about it. Reporter: Carlson's also starting a foundation to help empower women. Do you feel like you've won? I can't answer specifically about whether or not I won in that specific case, but -- boy, I hope I've helped other women to win. You just heard the story of

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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