A blistering report in Huffington Post is all but incontrovertible proof that even if former host and current Donald Trump Jr. girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle’s departure from Fox News was voluntary, the network couldn’t be happier to see her gone.
Last week, I wrote that while Guilfoyle ostensibly left Fox News to spend more time with her boyfriend, credible reports claimed that she had been pushed out. Either way, it was quite clear she would not be missed at Fox.
Since then, Guilfoyle’s attorneys threatened one of those reporters, Yashar Ali, and his publisher, HuffPost, with a lawsuit. The lawyers claimed that Ali’s report was false and defamatory and that a failure to retract it would be “actual malice.”
Ali and HuffPost have responded by tripling down on their reporting. Some of the nuggets:
Six sources said Guilfoyle’s behavior included showing personal photographs of male genitalia to colleagues (and identifying whose genitals they were), regularly discussing sexual matters at work and engaging in emotionally abusive behavior toward hair and makeup artists and support staff.
According to sources, Guilfoyle was the subject of a human resources investigation that started last year and involved interviews with Fox News employees, including hair and makeup artists and producers. Sources said HR warned Guilfoyle about her behavior several times, including a stern warning from Kevin Lord, the head of Fox News HR, in the fall of 2017. HuffPost also began investigating Guilfoyle’s workplace conduct last year.
Guilfoyle had been told her time at the network was up before it was revealed that she was dating Trump Jr.
For many years, Guilfoyle was close to her Fox News colleague Eric Bolling, who was pushed out of the network after HuffPost reported that he sent unsolicited lewd photos to female colleagues. They shared a young female assistant who, according to three sources, was deeply unhappy at work and was desperate to get out from under what she described to sources as Guilfoyle’s emotionally abusive behavior and attempts to involve her in her personal sexual matters by regularly sharing details about her sex life.
The article also goes into great detail about Guilfoyle’s attempts to coerce her female colleagues to support former head Roger Ailes against Gretchen Carlson’s allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Those allegations became a cascade and forced Ailes out of the network in 2016. Guilfoyle, however, seems to have stood by Ailes nevertheless. I've previously reported that she called him a “champion of women” after he died.
Frankly, it has always been a mystery to me how and why Guilfoyle made it this long in the post-Ailes era. I can only assume she had a high-ranking supporter or supporters. Ali reports that two sources told him that Lachlan Murdoch who, along with father Rupert is executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, wanted Guilfoyle gone in the summer of 2016, after Ailes was ousted.
Whoever may have served as Guilfoyle’s guardian angel(s) at Fox is either gone now or has turned against her. According to The Daily Beast, she was barely out the door before her “enemies” at Fox “tried to plant negative stories and start whisper campaigns against her, accusing her of workplace misconduct and allegedly abusive behavior toward Fox staff.” The Daily Beast quotes one insider as saying that the dirt on her is “Not exactly the Lewinsky scandal.”
No, but it’s hardly a picture of the kind of on-air persona you’d want for a network that claims to have cleaned house after the sexual harassment scandals.
One other thing looks certain: Guilfoyle's defamation lawsuit against Ali and HuffPost is going nowhere.
Crossposted at News Hounds.