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i guess i decided to jump off a cliff. >> how did you land? >> tonight on "20/20," the women who took on and took down the most powerful man in television news. roger ailes. >> he times. >> charges of sexual harassment. gretchen carlson, speaking only to "20/20." and a groundbreaking apology from fox news. >> women are accused of making
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was harassed by others back when she was miss america. >> the fears of speaking out. >> you don't want to make waves. you're going to lose your job. >> you're going to be that woman. >> but what about this woman, saying she was pressured into a relationship with roger ailes. >> i got a promotion. he really let me know, i want you to show me some gratitude. >> as in >> he said i needed training. >> tonight, powerful women telling their stories. with a message for every woman in the workplace. crossing the lines, women and men at work. hello. i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir, we're coming to you from our offices at "20/20," the kind of cubicles familiar to so many of you
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but what sadly might also be familiar, 1 in 4 women nationwide say they experience sexual harassment at work. >> and at every level. tonight, the high-powered woman whose lawsuit brought down a tv giant. gretchen carlson, reporting the news, and then becoming the news. >> a media and political bombshell. >> reporter: it was a spellbinding summer surprise. >> major change at fox news. ceo roger ailes has handed in his resignation. >> reporter: a lawsuit that helped bring down a titan of television. roger ailes, the founder and force behind fox news, accused of sexually harassing one of his network's on-air stars. on what richter scale was the earthquake that gretchen carlson started by filing this lawsuit against roger ailes? >> it was off the charts. i mean, nothing like that had ever really happened at fox news
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>> reporter: sarah ellison has reported extensively for "vanity fair" on fox news and the legend of roger ailes. >> he takes a lot of credit, and deserves a lot of credit for creating the success of fox news. and you could see that, when you look at the channel, you're looking at his vision. >> so, can a 4-year-old be a pinhead? >> reporter: a vision that included a signature hook. >> fair and balanced. >> reporter: and, some say, a signature look. which you could spot the minute you turned it on. >> when i turn from nbc to cnn to fox, you can tell the difference. the dresses are tighter, and the skirts are shorter. the sort of famous leg cam, which is a camera that sort of shoots at a particular angle so that you can see that her legs are crossed, and her thigh is sort of revealed. >> reporter: belinda luscombe wrote a cover story about gretchen carlson for "time" magazine. >> gretchen joked about this when she went on to a radio show and she got to wear jeans. and she said, "it's so great to be on radio because i can wear pants for a change."
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dresses, carlson was on the set of the popular morning show "fox and friends," where she was co-anchor for seven years. >> good morning, everyone. >> reporter: in her lawsuit against ailes, carlson alleged that behind the sunny morning show exterior was a hostile workplace, more reminiscent of a locker room than a newsroom. >> you read the headlines. >> reporter: she names her co-anchor, steve doocy. >> yes >> reporter: in the lawsuit. >> yes, i mean, she talks about how he demeaned her. he pulled her arm to get her to be quiet in various moments. >> reporter: she did go to roger ailes to complain about the behavior of her co-host on "fox and friends." he was not a sympathetic ear. >> no, instead of having roger ailes say, "oh, we'll be sure to do something about that," he lashes out at her. and he calls her a man-hater, and he says that she should try to get along with the boys. >> reporter: carlson claims that shortly after she complained, ailes demoted her, moving her off the morning show to a less desirable time slot in the
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i'm gretchen carlson, and this is the real story. >> reporter: but it gets worse. in carlson's complaint, she says ailes then began sexually harassing her. making comments in one-on-one meetings like, "i think you and i should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago." adding that, "sometimes problems are easier to solve" that way. when she rejected his advances, carlson says ailes retaliated, sabotaging her career. but gretchen carlson wasn't about to fade away without a fight. >> a lot of the people i interviewed about gretchen thought, "well, gretchen is somebody who always does her homework. she's super prepared. so she would not have launched this without having the goods." >> she starts to tape her meetings with roger. and it's at this point where he sort of begins to say things to her that she includes in a lawsuit later. >> reporter: the man who ruled fox news like an empire, who even had a camera trained outside his office to see who was approaching, was walking
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>> it is ironic that here's this person who's so famously paranoid about people trying to get him, who then is -- >> reporter: brought down by -- >> having someone just record him very simply with her iphone. >> reporter: last june, with carlson still quietly gathering evidence, ailes abruptly fired her. two weeks later, she shot back with her explosive lawsuit. fox news' dirty laundry was now its own top story. >> fox news chairman roger ailes is responding to a lawsuit filed by lawyers for gretchen carlson. >> reporter: what was the initial reaction toward gretchen? >> i mean, it was horrendous. one personality after another came out and said, "it doesn't sound true to me. i've -- roger's never said anything like that around me. >> so what do you think when you heard this? >> i've worked for roger for 20 years. best boss i've ever had. i stand behind roger 100%.
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o'reilly, geraldo rivera, greta van susteren, sean hannity, all lined up to back the boss. and fox news' brit hume tweeted, "why didn't she quit and sue instead of suing only after she got fired?" >> if you speak up when you're first hired, you're considered a troublemaker. if you speak up when you leave, it's considered sour grapes. >> reporter: as soon as carlson filed her lawsuit against ailes, fox news parent company 21st century fox launched an internal investigation. >> i think from that moment forward, the die was cast. i mean, they kind of knew that if you went digging you were going to find something. >> reporter: and what the law firm conducting the investigation found was at least a dozen women willing to talk. some of whom had strikingly similar stories about roger ailes. >> it gave the story a level of credence that it wasn't just gretchen carlson. there were other women. >> reporter: the crisis came to a crescendo when one woman, who
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the ailes chorus of defenders, spoke up. megyn kelly. >> the highest-profile female anchor at fox news had also been allegedly harassed by roger ailes. >> reporter: just this week, megyn kelly appeared on "good morning america," describing in detail what she says happened to her. >> it culminated in a physical attempt to be with me. which i rejected, in his office. and then i contacted a lawyer. >> he touched you? >> he tried to kiss me three times. so i rejected that. and when i rejected that, he asked me when my contract was up. >> it's a fantastic deconstruction of the myth that only shy little violets get harassed. only weak women who aren't in power get harassed. women deal with it all the time. >> reporter: everywhere. >> in every industry, everywhere. >> reporter: kelly's claims would spell the end for roger ailes at fox news, but it all started with gretchen carlson. >> if gretchen carlson hadn't sued, would roger ailes still be
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>> i think so. i think so. >> reporter: but just two weeks after she filed her lawsuit, ailes arrived at work to find he had been locked out of the company he created. the next day it was announced he was resigning as chief executive. in september, 21st century fox settled with gretchen carlson, agreeing to pay her a staggering $20 million and offering a rare public apology. saying, "we sincerely regret that gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve." >> women do not normally get an apology when something like this happens. and i think that that was extraordinarily important. >> reporter: roger ailes has vehemently denied all of the allegations of sexual assault against him. but in perhaps the truest testament to the herculean feat carlson accomplished, some of those familiar fox faces who
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>> i don't think it's overstating it to say that gretchen carlson toppled an empire. >> reporter: when we come back, the woman at the epicenter of what became a tv news earthquake. gretchen carlson speaks to amy are gretchen carlson speaks to amy robach, next. n? ahem. ginger breadington here for target's 10 days of deals. look! it's beats solo headphones in red carpet red from sunday's 10% off electronics. kitchenaid mixer from monday's 20% off kitchen is here too! pizza brought another pizza for wednesday's buy one get one free pizza deal! so hot! and what are these surprise deals? well, stick around because they are sweet.
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before fibromyalgia, i was energetic. i was active. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters,
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>> we women need more women like you to speak up about this injustice. this one says, "i want to praise and commend you for your bravery and strength for coming forward and paving the way for other women who are experiencing a horrible situation." >> reporter: gretchen carlson, reading just a small sampling of the letters she's received since becoming cast unwittingly in the role of warrior for women against workplace sexual harassment. >> this one really caught my eye because it's from a father. here's what he says. "i can point my daughter to you and tell her, 'you see what this woman did? it takes courage. but this is what you must do.'" and he says to me, "so thank you. and if possible, i can only hope that the sharing of this part of your life story will encourage others to stand up and keep it real." >> reporter: you've become a hero for so many women who have
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workplace. and i can see you getting emotional right now. >> because i never thought i was going to be in this position. you know? >> reporter: for those who think they know carlson, and followed her career, she may seem miscast. her viewpoints typically traditional, often conservative. and then there's the fact she's a former miss america. what does that crown mean to you today? >> you know, it's still something that i'm very proud of. >> reporter: can you understand why some people think you're an unlikely feminist? >> oh, i know, i don't like that title. listen, i have been fighting for women my entire life. people who've known me all along know that about me. >> reporter: for carlson, step one in that fight is dispelling misconceptions, both about sexual harassment and herself. we met carlson at her home in greenwich, connecticut, where she lives with her husband of 19 years, high-powered sports agent casey close, and their two
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your life has completely changed. >> i guess i decided to jump off a cliff. >> reporter: how did you land? >> every day has been a new experience. >> reporter: but to understand how carlson found herself at that precipice, it helps to understand where she got that strong sense of self. raised in anoka, minnesota, a suburb of the twin cities best known for being "the halloween capital of the world." she was, by her own admission, a very precocious little girl. tell me about your childhood. >> it was an idyllic upbringing. my grandfather was the minister at the lutheran church. my dad owned a car dealership in town. my mom was the consummate volunteer. i grew up thinking that i could be anything i wanted to be in this world because my mom told me that every single night. >> reporter: faith and family, the carlson cornerstones. and by kindergarten, one more -- violin. i love what you said about your violin. you said, "finding the right instrument is like falling in
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you fell in love with the violin? >> yes, by happenstance. i wanted to play the piano. teacher said my hands were too small. so really it was a fluke that i ended up with the violin. >> reporter: she was a natural. by age 13, playing solos with the minnesota orchestra. and she didn't just excel in music. carlson was also a straight-"a" student, graduating top of her class. how important was that to you to be the best? >> i think that's just the way that i had lived my life, was trying to excel at everything that i tried to achieve. >> reporter: her parents were thinking juilliard, but carlson chose stanford. >> it ended up working out okay because then my mom got this crazy idea. >> reporter: to go for miss america. >> right, and she kept saying to me, "gretchen, 50% of your points are based on talent. you have that."
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says, equating it with going for olympic gold. first winning miss cottage grove, then miss minnesota. >> miss minnesota is gretchen carlson. >> reporter: then, at 22, in atlantic city, she wowed the crowd with her performance of sarasate's ziguenerweisen. and was crowned miss america. >> miss america is gretchen carlson! >> it immediately changed what i thought i was going to do with the rest of my life. >> reporter: the turning point? this cameo on a bloopers and practical jokes show. problem was, carlson didn't know the joke was on her. >> our next practical joke victim was not all that easy to victimize. >> so it was dick clark and ed mcmahon. and it was a week after i had been crowned miss america. and it was some complicated satellite system and i was just supposed to be there on stage to introduce it. >> reporter: little did she know the miss america co-hosts were in on the ruse. >> so our accomplices were gary collins and mary ann mobley and they really, really made it work. >> they got called off the set. emergency phone call. gary's microphone doesn't work.
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>> just introduce yourself and ad lib a bit, it's very informal so don't worry about it. >> and the floor director says to me, "oh, my gosh, we're going live to 5,000 engineers earlier than we thought, in four, three, two -- just start talking." >> hi, i'm gretchen carlson, the new miss america. they put cue cards up. every word was 17 letters long. then they dropped them on the floor. >> gretchen! you're on super bloopers and practical jokes! >> when that finally aired i got calls from tv agents saying, "have you ever thought about doing tv? if you can do that, you can do tv." so i decided to give it a shot. >> reporter: but seeking the glare of television lights, carlson says she would find something sinister lurking in the shadows. during your reign as miss america, when you were then seeking that tv job, you thought, "okay, let me -- let me go meet with people and see how i get into this business, how i do it right." you actually had your first real
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harassment. tell me about that. >> i did. and it was a shocking experience because with this particular man he spent most of the day helping me. he made a lot of phone calls for me. and i thought, "wow, this guy's being so nice." and we went to dinner and we were in the back seat of a car going to my college friend's apartment at the end of the evening. and before i knew it he was on top of me and his tongue was down my throat. and i was like, "whoa. i -- this wasn't part of the deal." and i quickly got out of the car and i was flustered. and started sobbing. and i remember being inconsolable. and thinking, "well, i'll never speak to him again." and i didn't. >> reporter: sadly, she says, it wouldn't be her only encounter. >> and unfortunately a couple of weeks later, the same thing happened to me again in los angeles with a very high-powered
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very high-powered p.r. executive. and again we were in a car and he took my head and my neck and he shoved my face into his crotch so forcefully that i couldn't breathe. >> reporter: did you blame yourself? >> i think to a certain part, yeah, you think, "i must have done something." >> reporter: "what did i do to invite this?" >> right. what did i do? gretchen carlson's in front of the camera. but, what happened behind the camera's eye? >> and this time i was in the workplace so it was different. >> reporter: when "20/20" continues. ? [beeping] take on any galaxy with a car that could stop for you.
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>> 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?
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>> 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.
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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 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.
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>> 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.
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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.
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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.
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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, "what 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
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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 someone who said she rejected sexual advances in the workplace. when we come back, the woman who says she didn't dare reject them.
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you just saw a powerful woman who was the face of the news. but now, someone who was behind the scenes at fox, saying she was pressured into a sexual relationship with roger ailes. but she said she was also paying a price for the promotions.
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roger ailes for more than two decades and she says for much of that time she was harassed, intimidated, and pressured into performing sexual favors. laurie's story first exploded onto the pages of new york magazine and now she's sharing it exclusively with us. tell me, first of all, why you've decided to speak out. >> elizabeth, i think that i went through such hell for so many years. i finally felt safe when i saw that other women were speaking up. >> reporter: laurie says she was a naive 28-year-old when she first met roger ailes while working in a low-level job on george h.w. bush's first presidential campaign. >> i wanted to meet him. i wanted to work for him. i was so excited. i introduced myself to him on the elevator. and then i think later on he ran into me in the hall, was super friendly and had acted like he'd remembered me. and i was flattered. >> reporter: after the campaign ended, laurie says she was financially strapped and desperate for a job when ailes invited her for an interview
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at the meeting, she says he asked her questions that felt more personal than professional. >> i think that he wanted to gauge what kind of a person i was. if i was insecure. if i was looking for a daddy figure. >> reporter: he was sussing out your vulnerabilities? >> absolutely. and i was real insecure. and i was in need of a job, which is why i was there. >> reporter: laurie says ailes offered her work doing research. but it soon became clear that he was interested in more than just her work. one night ailes was in washington, d.c., working with president bush on a primetime speech he was delivering night. laurie says ailes asked her to watch it on television and then come to his hotel room to share her feedback. and what did he tell you at that point? >> he said that i needed training. >> reporter: you needed training? >> i needed training. >> reporter: meant? >> i didn't know. i was about to find out. >> reporter: laurie says ailes told her to strip down to her lingerie and dance for him. feeling intimidated and worried
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then what did he do? >> he would have me get down on my knees and tell me, "you know what you are, laurie. you're my whore. you're my sex slave. you're gonna do whatever i tell you to do at any time. do you understand that?" >> reporter: laurie says ailes then instructed her to perform oral sex. >> i didn't question it. and that was his big thing. "just don't ever question anything i ever ask you to do, laurie." >> reporter: did you try to refuse? >> it was too late. the that i'd been blackmailed. because he did take photographs of me. and he would say, "this is just my little insurance policy. and i'm just gonna put it in a safe deposit box just to make sure you stay loyal to me." >> reporter: according to laurie that bizarre night was no aberrant incident. it would become a pattern that continued off and on for more than 20 years. >> he'd say, "i think you need some training. i think you're slipping up." or, "you haven't had your training lately."
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fox news in 1996, laurie went along. first as a production assistant for fox news sunday. although she was now rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful people in washington, she says her secret relationship with ailes had begun to feel like psychological torture. >> i never told a living soul. >> reporter: about what was going on? >> absolutely not. he reinforced with me how great he was. and he'd say, "i'm your only friend. i'm the only person in the world that you can trust. you can't trust anyone else." so you say that enough times to someone and it's reality. >> reporter: laurie says her silence and loyalty were rewarded with higher-paid positions. eventually being named the director of booking at fox news with a six-figure annual salary, but it all came at a price. >> i got a promotion. a big promotion. afterwards i went in to see roger, he said, "so, see, i told
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he really let me know, "i want you to show me some gratitude for the --" >> reporter: as in sexual? >> yes. >> reporter: gratitude. >> yes. >> reporter: it's unbelievable that it would be that overt, that, "okay, you finally got this big promotion. i told you i'd take care of you. now go strip down --" >> and i was so excited. and then the next words were, "go over to the doubletree and thank me." i kept on thinking it would end. you know, maybe he'd stop. and i actually didn't think that it would go on at fox. but it did continue. >> reporter: you know people hearing this will say, "why on earth would you go along with this?" >> it's not like i was able to go and cry on the shoulder of some friend. i was completely isolated. i was isolated in the workplace. >> reporter: what did you think would happen if you complained or tried to refuse? >> have you ever seen roger ailes when he's unhappy? >> reporter: no. i haven't.
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it's not a good sight to see. it's pretty scary. >> reporter: laurie says her life began to unravel in 2007 when she was demoted at fox news because of talk in the company about her relationship with ailes. >> my boss, bill shine, sent me to a psychiatrist. and finally, for the first time in over 20 years, i spoke up. and it all kind of came pouring out. >> reporter: laurie says the gravity of that admission triggered a nervous breakdown, landing in the hospital. ultimately, she says she also knew it was time to stand up for herself. >> i wrote a letter to the legal counsel at fox news. >> reporter: what did you say in that letter? >> well, i just said that i'd been harassed the whole time i'd been at fox and that i'd done my job. and i received no response. so it really wasn't until i had hired a lawyer. >> reporter: within weeks of hiring that lawyer and without filing a lawsuit, laurie
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worth more than $3 million. in 2011, after two decades of being under ailes control, she says she was free. abc news reached out roger ailes. he sent us this statement which reads in part, "ms. luhn is someone i once regarded as a friend and a person who i helped for many years. the stories she is telling now are fabrications built on half-truths and outright lies." so then why did fox pay you more than $3 million? >> because he knew that it was the truth. i wasn't lying. stunned by gretchen carlson's lawsuit and all of the allegations that followed. >> i didn't realize the extent to which roger really was a predator. >> reporter: even after all she's been through, laurie admits her feelings towards roger ailes today remain complicated. in fact, in the summer of 2015, four years after cutting off contact with ailes, she wrote him a letter. why would you write him again last year asking for help finding a job?
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and sort of let me know that i'm -- he's the only one who would ever believe in me. and i think that maybe the little girl looking for the daddy figure is still saying, "roger, look at me. can you believe in me?" and it's very sad. >> reporter: do you think it undermines your credibility? >> i don't know. i don't really care. i know what happened to me. >> so, if your boss was harassing you, would you know what to do? let us know on #abc2020.
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>> sexual harassment is not just something that happens in, you know, guy-dominated industries. women deal with it all the time. >> reporter: everywhere. >> in every industry, everywhere. >> reporter: even the diner down the street. waitress lauren jones said she learned that the hard way. she went to the restaurant manager after her supervisor grabbed her while she was working. >> out of nowhere i felt a firm grab on my behind, a feeling that i knew couldn't have been a mistake. and i asked him, "what the hell are you doing?" >> reporter: lauren says she didn't want to sue. she just wanted him to stop. she was relieved when the restaurant owner and his h.r. rep called her into a meeting. but her husband marvin was suspicious. >> i told her when you go in there, you need to take your phone, you need to record because it's not going to go
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record on her phone and headed in. >> the problem is that you've been with us less than a month. >> i agree. >> he's been with us 15 years. >> i agree. >> and has never had anybody ever accuse him of anything. >> i agree. >> because he's never done anything. >> okay. >> so that's our position right now. >> reporter: the managers mention mistakes she made in training. they warn her that false trial testimony could land her in jail. lauren starts to break down. >> this is really how you're gonna treat me right now? >> yes, ma'am. >> i don't want your money. i don't want nothing from you. all i want to do is keep my job and be happy like i have been. >> well, the best thing for us is -- >> i don't want nothing. >> for you to find a job somewhere else. >> okay. then i will see you in court. have a good day. so am i fired? i need to know right now. i'm not quitting. i'm not quitting. >> we don't want you to quit. we're terminating you, right now. you're terminated. >> have a good day. >> reporter: she went to the eeoc. it couldn't judge whether her
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but it did clear her to sue. she hasn't brought a suit. she can't afford it. the restaurant chain insists it only fired her for performance problems. >> she's very courageous. >> reporter: unfortunately, former h.r. executive cynthia shapiro says lauren made some key mistakes. >> she told them that she didn't want to sue. don't share that. >> reporter: don't give away your leverage. >> and don't go on one isolated incident. >> reporter: she warns rushing to h.r. right away may not always be the answer. we walk into h.r. they're usually a sympathetic presence. >> they're very easy to talk to. and they're the ones in charge of benefits and barbecues and all those nice things. and they'll say, "oh, that's terrible. okay, we're gonna take your whole statement." but you're not giving a statement to someone who really has your best interest at heart. >> reporter: h.r. is being paid by the company. >> yes. >> reporter: and they're paid to protect the company. >> above all else. >> reporter: unless you feel you're in danger, you need at least three incidents, shapiro
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everything. and try and ask your harasser to stop. only then is it safer to make an official complaint to h.r. >> only move forward if you really feel like it's so egregious, you will have to leave the company if it doesn't get taken care of. >> reporter: that's a pretty high bar. >> it is a high bar -- >> reporter: especially if that paycheck is feeding my children. >> retaliation is illegal, but it happens all the time. people have had their careers heavily damaged by doing, you know, quote, unquote, "the right thing." they just didn't know how to do they just didn't know how to do it the right way. is depression more than sadness? ? they just didn't know how to do it the right way.
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>> reporter: gretchen carlson used to be an early riser. now, she's up late at night, thinking about her kids. and yours. >> i've often said that i thought it was important to work more for my son than for my daughter. because i want my son, when he gets into the workplace, to respect his female colleagues in the same way that he looks at his mama. i don't talk to him about the nitty-gritty details. he gets it. >> reporter: 11-year-old christian has inherited his dad's love of sports. while 13-year-old kaia has apparently taken on mom's musicianship. what have you told her about the challenges she may face as a woman in the workplace? >> right. i'm not talking to her about anything negative right now.
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that's my goal. ? >> reporter: what do you want to be when you grow up? >> i've thought of so many different things. i've thought of going to med school because i like being a doctor. i've actually thought about journalism as well. but i haven't decided yet. >> reporter: it's nice to have options, isn't it? >> yeah. it's really nice to be in america where we can decide what we want to be. >> reporter: and are you confident when you go into your first job after seeing what your mom's done that you will spe >> yeah. my mom has also made it so this will happen less. but i'm confident if this happens i will be able to speak up and do what's right. >> do you think your mom's a hero? >> yes. i do think my mom's a hero for many women and also for many men in the world. >> reporter: how old are you? >> 13. >> reporter: mom's sage advice is rubbing off. >> she has had some complicated social situations and she came home from school recently and
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that challenge and i handled it and i'm proud of myself. and i did it because you did it." that's all that matters. and if the only thing i accomplished was that my
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they did michigan, no officers for but what led up to all of this? a man charged officers with a machete and we are checking in with police as soon as they are done. >> police never know what they are going to encounter. and a breaking news update right now, a phoenix copper covering after a guy accused of trespassing try during an arrest. >> cameras are basically everywhere and the follow growing tonight, by now, you probably seen the punch and that woman taking the hit. now she wants that officer fired. >> anybody else would be fired


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