Fox News host Shepard Smith publicly acknowledged he is gay by denying that Fox’s former CEO Roger Ailes prevented him from coming out and made homophobic remarks around him, in an interview with the Huffington Post published on Monday.
Smith, 52, insisted the 2014 rumor that Ailes, 76, had prevented Smith from coming out years ago was false.
“That’s not true,” Smith told the Huffington Post. “He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father. I trusted him with my career and with — I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
When asked if Ailes had ever been homophobic around him, Smith says that also wasn’t true.
“He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith says. “I wasn’t new in the business when I came [to Fox News] — I’d been doing reporting for 12 years — but I wasn’t old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world, and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”
Ailes resigned from the network this summer after Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, among other current and former employees, made sexual harassment allegations against the former CEO.
Smith says he personally enjoyed his time with Ailes at Fox and felt respected.
“It’s such a wonderful place, and it’s been home forever. He was very fatherly and mentorish,” Smith says. “And now I know that there were other things going on here.”