The complaints against Guilfoyle, according to HuffPost's sources, included allegedly verbally abusing support staff and showing coworkers illicit photos and discussing who was in them. In a story published in the New Yorker, it was revealed that Guilfoyle's former assistant bore the brunt of the alleged misconduct.
The assistant, who also worked for former FOX host Eric Bowling, alleged in the complaint that Guilfoyle “subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior.” According to the New Yorker, though, the assistant refused to conceal the truth, and instead made complaints about Guilfoyle and her other superior, Eric Bowling.
The assistant then feared retaliation, as she claimed Guilfoyle made comments about her influence and being able to ruin her with everything she knew. However, the assistant's identity has remained protected, and in the New Yorker's October 2020 report, the woman simply commented, “I wish you well.
At the time, she was a co-host of the political chat show “The Five.” Media reports suggested that she had been accused of workplace impropriety, including displaying lewd pictures of male genitalia to colleagues, but few additional details of misbehavior emerged. Guilfoyle publicly denied any wrongdoing, and last year a lawyer representing her told The New Yorker that “any suggestion” she had “engaged in misconduct at Fox is patently false.” But, as I reported at the time, shortly after Guilfoyle left her job, Fox secretly paid an undisclosed sum to the assistant, who no longer works at the company.
Recently, two well-informed sources told me that Fox, in order to avoid going to trial, had agreed to pay the woman upward of four million dollars. The former assistant has not been publicly identified, and, out of respect for the rights of alleged victims of sexual harassment, The New Yorker is honoring her confidentiality.
The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable. As serious as the draft complaint’s sexual-harassment allegations were, equally disturbing was what the assistant described as a cover up attempt by Guilfoyle, whose conduct was about to come under investigation by a team of outside lawyers.
In July 2016, the network had hired the New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss to investigate sexual misconduct at the company, which, under the leadership of Roger Miles, had a long history of flagrant harassment and gender discrimination. According to those familiar with the assistant’s draft complaint, during a phone call on August 6, 2017, she alleged that Guilfoyle tried to buy her silence, offering to arrange a payment to her if she agreed to lie to the Paul, Weiss lawyers about her experiences.
The alleged offering of hush money brings to mind Trump’s payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels, in order to cover up his sexual impropriety. By 2017, the Paul, Weiss lawyers had begun investigating accusations of workplace sexual misconduct involving Eric Bowling, with whom Guilfoyle shared the assistant.
(Bowling, whose employment Fox ended in September 2017, declined to comment; he has denied any wrongdoing, and is now a host at Sinclair Broadcast Group.) People close to Guilfoyle called the assistant’s allegation untrue, and said they were shocked that she would fabricate such a false claim.
During my career, I have served as a mentor to countless women, with many of whom I remain exceptionally close to this day.” John Singer, her lawyer, said that he would not comment. According to the former assistant’s account, she declined what she regarded as Guilfoyle ’s attempts to buy her off, and refused to conceal evidence or lie.
Guilfoyle ’s graphic sexual talk so upset hair-and-makeup artists at Fox that they lodged an internal complaint, triggering an investigation by the company. Yet the assistant has alleged, both in her draft complaint and to confidants, that Guilfoyle contributed to, and even defended, the sexually hostile work environment at Fox News.
One of the former Fox News colleagues who had socialized with Guilfoyle told me that her sexually inappropriate behavior was akin to that of many powerful male Fox employees before 2016, when the network was rocked by a lawsuit brought against Miles by Gretchen Carlson, a former on-air host. In an interview with Ad week, Guilfoyle claimed that she had spoken with more than thirty women at Fox, and said, “Nobody that I’ve spoken to said that this was their experience.” Two months before Fox settled with Carlson, for twenty million dollars, Guilfoyle gave an interview to Breitbart in which she vouched for Miles’s “character, integrity, and credibility,” saying, “I’ve known the man very well the last 15 years.
In fact, soon after Guilfoyle left Fox, in July 2018, she joined Trump’s reelection campaign, as vice-chair of America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC. Last December, reportedly at the President’s request, Guilfoyle was asked to become the head of fund-raising for Trump Victory, his main campaign organization.
Any accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless and have been viciously made by disgruntled and self-interested employees. Guilfoyle had been angling to buy time in order to win support from Rupert Murdoch, Fox ’s head honcho, according to Huff Po.
But doesn’t this radically affect her day job?” CNN media reporter Brian Shelter said on an episode of “Reliable Sources” earlier this month. Guilfoyle, who is several years older than Don Jr., had previously been romantically linked to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramouch.
Sources also said that despite being told she would have to leave by July, Guilfoyle repeatedly attempted to delay her exit and tried to have her allies appeal to Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, to let her stay at the network. This story is based on interviews conducted over the past year with 21 sources inside and outside Fox News and 21st Century Fox.
In response to an email with a list of 19 detailed questions, Guilfoyle ’s attorney John Singer wrote the following statement: “Any accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless and have been viciously made by disgruntled and self-interested employees.
It’s utterly preposterous that there are those who are nefariously and greedily twisting innocent conversations amongst close friends into much more than what it actually was for financial gain. Multiple sources told HuffPost that Guilfoyle ’s exit from Fox News, where she had worked since 2006, came after her alleged inappropriate workplace behavior could no longer be tolerated by the network.
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.
Two years ago, network insiders considered the idea of Guilfoyle ’s involuntary departure from Fox News to be impossible. Current and former Fox News employees told HuffPost that Guilfoyle openly complained about feeling slighted and criticized other women at the network.
But a well-placed source told HuffPost that Murdoch signed off on the plan to remove Guilfoyle, which was brought to him by Suzanne Scott, who became CEO of Fox News in May. A source familiar with Murdoch’s thinking told HuffPost that the executive bristles at outside efforts to push him on business matters and that he had caught wind of Guilfoyle ’s behavior and was not interested in allowing it to continue.
Fox News was a hotbed of sexual harassment and retaliation under Miles, but executives at Fox News have worked over the past two years to improve the workplace culture and institute major changes in large part due to potential legal liabilities and regulatory concerns in the U.S. and U.K. Guilfoyle, according to several sources, failed to adapt to the new culture and still operated as if she were working under Miles. Guilfoyle called female on-air talent at Fox News and asked them to make supportive statements about Miles publicly, sources said.
Sean Hannity, Piero and Lou Dobbs, who all work for Fox News or Fox Business, are close to the president and serve as informal advisers to him. Guilfoyle, a former San Francisco County prosecutor, started at the network in 2006 as a legal analyst and worked her way up to become co-host of “The Five.” She also served as a fill-in host for top-rated Fox News stars like Hannity.
The current and former Fox News employees who have spoken to HuffPost over the past year said Guilfoyle, who has a reputation for being unfailingly loyal to certain people, caused a rift among women at the network after former network host Gretchen Carlson sued Miles for sexual harassment and retaliation. Guilfoyle called female on-air talent at Fox News in the summer of 2016 and asked them to make supportive statements about Miles publicly, sources said.
Guilfoyle ’s close relationship with him made them nervous because they were afraid of retaliation if they didn’t support him publicly, sources said. According to four sources, Guilfoyle also approached then- Fox News host Meghan McCain and told her the network would let her take Merino’s position on “The Five” if she made a statement publicly supporting Miles.
Many Fox News and Fox Business hosts did speak out in support of Miles, including Hannity, Piero, Bill O’Reilly (who was later ousted in his own sexual harassment scandal) and Brit Hume. Days before she left Fox News for the last time, Guilfoyle got herself booked on Steve Hilton’s Sunday program even though she had been told she was no longer going to be on air.
The woman who once organized a lobbying campaign to keep Miles at Fox News was now fighting for her own future at the network, but this time she didn’t have anyone by her side.