Fox News was forced to confront a tough summer after former host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against former CEO Roger Ailes. Shortly following her suit, former host Andrea Tantaros also came forward to sue Fox News over claims of retaliation for reporting harassment. Tantaros also provided a list of alleged derogatory comments regarding coworkers and contributors’ races, genders, looks, or sexuality.
Current Fox News anchor Shepard Smith commented on Roger Ailes and the station in an interview with The Huffington Post, but it was the comment on his sexuality that confirmed what many suspected for a long time.
When asked if Ailes ever used a homophobic slur towards Smith, the anchor replied “No, never.” Smith said that Ailes had treated him with “respect” and gave him “every opportunity in the world.” On the environment of the station, Smith said that “It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”
When asked about claims that Ailes had prevented Smith from coming out as gay, Smith said:
That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father. I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.
According to the interview, Smith said he had advocated covering the scandal as thoroughly as possible, rather than “shying away from it.” He was one of the few Fox News anchors to cover it.
Smith has been very quiet about his sexuality, though the speculations have existed for some time.