NEW YORK, July 6 (UPI) -- Longtime Fox News anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News.
In the suit, Carlson accuses Ailes of making sexual and sexist remarks, making sexual advances and telling her last summer: "You and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago."
The former "Fox and Friends" anchor said she refused to sleep with Ailes and alleges in the suit that Ailes got retribution for her refusals by cutting her salary, restricting her appearances on the network, and ultimately declining to renew her contract when it expired on June 23.
"Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment," the lawsuit states.
The suit also claims that Ailes was not receptive when Carlson reported discriminatory behavior in the Fox newsroom.
Carlson confirmed her departure Wednesday on Twitter. In another tweet, she thanked her supporters.
"As you may have heard, I'm no longer with Fox News. I value your support and friendship so please stay in touch," she wrote.
Ailes responded in a statement late Wednesday.
"Gretchen Carlson's allegations are false," he said in the statement. "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."
Carlson claims in the lawsuit that her show, "The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson," was the leading news program in its time slot at the time her contract expired.
Two days before her departure from the network, Carlson wrote her last blog post for the network titled, "Grateful on my 50th Birthday."
Before joining Fox, Carlson worked as a correspondent for CBS News.