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Gretchen Carlson steps up pressure in lawsuit against Fox News' Roger Ailes, gives her first interview

Gretchen Carlson steps up pressure in lawsuit against Fox News' Roger Ailes, gives her first interview
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson gave her first interview since filing a lawsuit last week alleging that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes made sexual advances before firing her. (Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson has stepped up her pressure on Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, taking to social media and also giving her first interview since filing a stunning lawsuit last week alleging that Ailes made sexual advances before firing her.

Carlson, who worked as co-anchor of "Fox & Friends" and hosted other shows before leaving the cable news channel last month, posted a video on Twitter in which she thanked her supporters.

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"Hi, everybody. I just want to thank you so much for all the support you've given me over the last few days. I've been truly blessed to have so many supporters and, of course, blessed to have my family and all my friends," Carlson said in the 14-second video posted on Tuesday.

"I just want to say thank you so much."

In the Twitter post, Carlson used the hashtag #StandwithGretchen.

Carlson also spoke to the New York Times in her first interview since the lawsuit was filed.

"I just wanted to stand up for myself, first and foremost," she said in the article, published Wednesday. "And I wanted to stand up for other women who maybe faced similar circumstances."

The article described Carlson as guarded and hesitant at times, asking her lawyers, who were seated by her, if she should answer certain questions.

Carlson said in the interview that "everyone knew how powerful Roger Ailes was. I certainly felt intimated by that." She claimed that she had six to 10 meetings with Ailes in which he talked about her body and and heard her complaints about workplace harassment.

In the lawsuit, Carlson alleges that Ailes fired her in retaliation after she complained about on-air behavior by her "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy.

She also claims that Ailes once told her, "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better."

Ailes has denied Carlson's allegations. The Times quoted a statement from a Fox spokeswoman, who said that "between chasing ambulances and headlines, the truth seems to have been run over by Nancy Erika Smith," referring to Carlson's attorney.

Fox has released handwritten notes that purport to show Carlson asking Ailes for more airtime after the alleged harassment took place.

When asked about the notes, Carlson told the Times, "I think it's hard when you've been a victim -- you keep thinking things are going to get better."

Since news of the lawsuit broke, six other women have alleged that Ailes sexually harassed them. Their accusations were published in an article from New York magazine.

But he has also received support, including from some female anchors on Fox News. Maria Bartiromo recently told Variety  that "it's just not in keeping with what I know, and my experience at Fox."

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Greta Van Susteren told the Daily Beast that "this one's wrong, based on my experience."

Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto have also expressed support for Ailes.

david.ng@latimes.com

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