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Why Gretchen Carlson Spent 11 Years at Fox Despite ‘Continuous’ Harassment from Roger Ailes

Why stay at a company if you’re being sexually harassed?

Critics have questioned Fox News host Gretchen Carlson’s motives for filing a sexual harassment suit against network CEO Roger Ailes, asking why, if the situation was so dire, she stayed—and asked for more opportunities—at the network.

“She wouldn’t even be bringing this if she had been getting paid new money on the new contract, I bet you,” Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host of Fox News show The Five, told Breitbart News last week. “Why wasn’t this recorded or brought forward before? She’s a strong, smart woman—went to Stanford and has a good head on her shoulders. So why wouldn’t this have come forward before?”

Speaking publicly to the for the first time since filing the complaint, Carlson explained to the New York Times that the decision to leave isn’t easy when you’re faced with the realities of sexual harassment. “I think it’s hard when you’ve been a victim—you keep thinking things are going to get better,” she said.

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Carlson thought things were improving as recently as last September, according to a memo she wrote to Ailes thanking him for meeting with her. “I’m happy my show continues to do well and that you are open to help me with a show like Outnumbered with promotion and media PR to really see what I can do,” she wrote, according to legal blog LawNewz.

The former Fox & Friends host claims that her employment was terminated by the network on June 23, the day that her contract expired, even though her current program was the leading show in its time slot. The complaint alleges that the firing was “the ultimate retaliation against her after she rebuffed Mr. Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Carlson told the Times that she had “between six and 10” meetings with Ailes in which he talked about her body and heard her complaints of harassment, and called his inappropriate comments “continuous.”