Monday, April 22, 2024

Roger Ailes, Fox News US Attorney Investigation Likely Coming from Former Network PR Guy Brian Lewis


I’m just catching up to the extraordinary news that the US Attorney in New York, Preet Bharara, is investigating Fox News and Roger Ailes. The issue is whether they properly reported all the payouts over sexual harassment. The SEC is apparently involved.

The news of the US Attorney’s investigation was revealed by Judd Burstein, the lawyer for Andrea Tantaros. She’s suing the network saying they retaliated against her after she made her sexual harassment claim. She’s one of many women who filed complaints against Ailes and Fox News, starting with $20 million for Gretchen Carlson.

These complaints don’t include the settlements made on behalf of Bill O’Reilly including a reported $10 million payout to Andrea Mackris– the infamous “loofah” story. Fox News also settled a recent claim made against O’Reilly by Juliet Huddy.

Burstein said he knew of the Fox News  investigation because another one of his clients was subpoenaed. That would likely be Brian Lewis, Ailes’ former PR hatchet man. Ailes is said to have fired Lewis in 2013 because he blamed him for not protecting him from New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman’s book about Ailes. Lewis ws then smeared (this is what Fox does) in the press. Lewis sued, and reportedly received an $8 million settlement.

Presumably, Lewis signed an NDA to keep his mouth shut. But Lewis knows where all of Ailes’s bodies are buried. He buried a lot them himself. He’s the only former Foxer publicly connected to Burstein, who features their association on his website. They’ve obviously found a way for Lewis to share his knowledge of Ailes– via the US Attorney.

Strangely, no one who reported the revelation of the  investigation mentioned Lewis’s name. But Ailes and Fox should worry that Lewis, under subpeona, will tell everything he knows.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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