Caroline Heldman has come forward with new allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News, this time against consultant Woody Fraser. Her legal declaration reveals that she may have provided the idea for the show that became The Five.
Heldman, a liberal college professor who was once a regular guest on Fox, has written a legal declaration about her experiences with Fraser as part of a potential sexual harassment lawsuit against him that does not involve Fox News.
Fraser seems to be one of the myriad “Friends of Roger” (Ailes, the former CEO) who worked as a consultant there under murky circumstances. According to Mother Jones, Heldman first met Fraser when he was the executive producer of Fox’s Huckabee show. Despite her declaration, Heldman is not seeking money from Fox.
Mother Jones has more:
Heldman wrote in her declaration—signed under penalty of perjury and prepared as part of a potential lawsuit involving separate Fraser accusers—that Fraser “used coded language (an ‘arrangement’) on three different occasions, once in New York and twice in Los Angeles, that he wanted to have a sexual relationship with me.” Heldman says she repeatedly rejected his advances. She goes on to note: “Mr. Fraser insinuated on several occasions that a contributorship at Fox was contingent upon me having a sexual relationship with him. Even though I was a popular guest with numerous appearances and high ratings (according to Mr. Fraser), I was not offered a contributorship because I rebuffed Mr. Fraser’s sexual advances.”
You may recall that in April, Heldman spoke out about Bill O’Reilly’s behavior when accusations against him for sexual harassment were in the news. Most of her hits with him were done in a remote studio, she said in an MSNBC appearance, “But on the occasions where I met him in person, I felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards.” She was eventually blacklisted from the show, she claimed, after she called him out for saying she was “hysterical” during one of their debates.
However, during that same MSNBC appearance, Heldman said there were more sexual predators roaming the halls at Fox:
HELDMAN: It was a top-down culture at Fox News. And honestly? [O’Reilly] wasn’t the only one who sexually harassed me at Fox and I think they have more housecleaning to do.
Apparently, she was referring to Fraser. Nevertheless, in her declaration, she refers to him as her mentor at Fox.
Heldman’s declaration also states that she pitched a show to Fraser, who seems to have successfully presented it to Ailes, for what eventually became The Five:
7. On June 21, 2010, I pitched a show to Mr. Fraser called “The Green Room.” He then pitched my show idea to Roger Ailes and it became Fox’s show “The Five.” We discussed the specifics of the show for nearly a year. In July 2011, I met with Mr. Fraser shortly after the show was approved to see if I would be hosting the show, which I assumed I would since I came up with the idea. During the meeting, he asked my age, and when I told him I was 38, he made a rude face and told me I was too old to be the host. I pointed out that Kimberly Guilfoyle was 43 and that she was a host. Woody then told me that Eric Bolling was slated to be the host and that I would not be a good match as cohost since I did not have a sense of humor about Mr. Bolling referring to me as Dr. McHottie on the air. I insisted that I could get along with Mr. Bolling on air. Mr. Fraser then told me that he could work something out if we could make an arrangement. I knew that by “arrangement,” Mr. Fraser meant a sexual relationship as he had made it clear on a number of prior occasions that he would help further my career if we were to engage in a sexual relationship.
Mother Jones reported that a Fox News source “with knowledge of the network’s inner workings says that Ailes alone created and developed The Five and that Fraser played no role with the show.” The source also claimed Fox has “no knowledge of Woody’s dealings with the on-air guest Caroline Heldman, nor does anyone here recall who she is.”
Watch Heldman discuss the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News below, from her April 20, 2017 appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Heldman image via screen grab.
Exactly what are the ages of the male host on Fox? Are any of them under the age of 38?