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Book: Roger Ailes has been soliciting sex from female journalists since the 1980s

Fox News Channel chief executive Roger Ailes is the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. (Jim Cooper/Associated Press)

This post has been updated with a statement from Roger Ailes.

Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson is suing network chief executive Roger Ailes for sexual harassment — and according to an Ailes biography published in 2014, the unwelcome advances alleged in her court filing are nothing new.

Gretchen Carlson is the latest female journalist to allege harassment at Fox News

In "The Loudest Voice in the Room," author Gabriel Sherman tells the story of a female TV producer who claims Ailes, as executive producer of an NBC late-night talk show in the 1980s, solicited sex in exchange for higher pay during a job interview. Ailes indicated that he had similar relationships with other female journalists, according to the book.

Here's an excerpt:

While interviewing Randi Harrison, a twenty-something out-of-work producer who had come in from Florida, Ailes steered the conversation onto uncomfortable terrain. According to Harrison, Ailes looked over at his NBC office couch and said, "I have helped a lot of women get ahead and advance their careers in the broadcast television industry." They were discussing her salary. Ailes offered $400 a week. Harrison told him it was a lowball figure. Ailes made a counteroffer: "If you agree to have sex with me whenever I want, I will add an extra hundred dollars a week."
"I guess we'll be in touch," Harrison said, getting up to leave. Ailes maneuvered around his desk and gave her a hug. "I remember seeing all the windows in his office and wondering, 'Does he do it here?' " she later said. "I was in tears by the time I hit the street."

Fox News issued a statement before the publication of Sherman's book: "These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes, and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News."

Book review: ‘The Loudest Voice in the Room,’ an unflattering portrait of Fox News chief Ailes

And on Wednesday evening, Ailes denied Carlson's allegations:

Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.

Harrison told Sherman that she initially wanted to withdraw herself from consideration but ultimately took the job — at $400 a week — after being promised that there would be no more sexual requests.

"Every woman who worked on the show I'd wonder about," she said.

Carlson, in her complaint against Ailes, suggests that she did more than wonder about female colleagues' relationships with the Fox News boss. She says that she was fired after turning down Ailes's repeated requests for sex, and that other women who did not do the same received preferential treatment.

Carlson's attorney writes that Ailes "refused to provide her with anywhere near the level of network media support and promotion provided to other Fox News hosts who did not complain about harassment and rebuff his sexual advances."

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