Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine was interviewed by prosecutors investigating sexual harassment at Fox News, according to a published report.
Shine, who was recently appointed White House communications director by President Donald Trump, was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury during 2017, according to The New York Times.
At that time, the network had been facing a string of sexual harassment complaints that led to the departure of chairman Roger Ailes in 2016 and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2017. Shine, although never accused of sexual harassment directly, was often accused of covering up what Ailes and O’Reilly were accused of doing, The Washington Post reported.
One claim against Fox, filed by former booking agent Laurie Luhn, claimed Shine was involved in the deal she made to resolve her complaints against Ailes and Fox, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Times said Shine never appeared before a grand jury, but did submit to an interview with lawyers from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York
Ailes denied claims that he sexually harassed women at Fox. Shine has also denied any wrongdoing during his tenure at Fox.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not comment on the Times report.
Fox’s critics, however, have been vocal about Trump naming Shine to the White House.
“Our president is telling the world he doesn’t care about creating a healthy work environment,” said Rudi Bakhtiar, a former Fox correspondent who claimed she was fired after reporting sexual harassment and later settled with Fox.
“It’s a boy’s club,” she said. “They take care of each other.”
THE DEFENSE OF BILL SHINE: The new @WhiteHouse comms director “was never accused himself of sexual harassment” at @FoxNews, says @greta. “He was only accused of looking the other way.” https://t.co/K0i89je3qf
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 20, 2018
The Times reported that the investigation at Fox appeared to end around the time of Ailes’s death in May 2017.
In an interview late last year, Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, downplayed the impact of the allegations.
“It’s all nonsense,” he said. “That was largely political because we are conservative.”
“There was a problem with our chief executive, sort of over the years, but isolated incidents,” Murdoch said, referencing Ailes. “As soon as we investigated he was out of the place in hours. Well, three or four days. And there’s been nothing else since then.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.