Fox News anchor Shep Smith has nothing but nice things to say about recently ousted Fox chief Roger Ailes, which only makes the revelations of his sexual harassment sting more. “I trusted him with my career and with – I trusted him and trusts were betrayed,” Smith told the Huffington Post in a candid and, at times, emotional interview.
Smith would seem an unlikely character witness for the real-life Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. The veteran anchor, who Ailes personally recruited at the network’s start in 1996, publicly came out as gay in the same interview.
Defying liberal expectations of the famously right-wing ex-CEO, Smith’s sexuality had no bearing on how Ailes treated Smith. “He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith said, contradicting earlier reports claiming Ailes demoted him on account of his sexual orientation.
In spite of his positive experiences with Ailes, the 52-year-old host of Shepard Smith Reporting stayed true to his journalistic mandate as allegations about Ailes were rolling out. “Shep said he advocated strongly for leading the coverage of the crisis rather than shying away from it,” the Huffington Post writes, “and he was one of the few, if not the only, Fox anchors to report on it.”
This kind of integrity is especially admirable given the close relationship between the employee and boss. “He was very fatherly and mentorish,” he said. “And now I know that there were other things going on here.”
Read the full profile on Shepard Smith here.