The bitter, long-brewing war between Fox News and former Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle has taken a very public detour into territory strangely familiar for the conservative media behemoth: hotly disputed dick-pic allegations.
On Friday, HuffPost reported that Guilfoyle’s departure from Fox News came after an internal investigation into her conduct that started last year, which included charges that she was “showing personal photographs of male genitalia to colleagues (and identifying whose genitals they were), regularly discussing sexual matters at work and engaging in emotionally abusive behavior toward hair and makeup artists and support staff.”
Guilfoyle's legal representation told the news outlet that “accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless and have been viciously made by disgruntled and self-interested employees."
Regarding the issue of “personal photographs of male genitalia,” sources familiar with the ongoing drama have offered their version of that particular, attention-grabbing detail. One Fox News employee claimed that the “dick pics are not what is being implied” by some.
Multiple sources familiar with the situation insist that Guilfoyle was sent photos of male genitalia from at least one person who she said was a “stalker.” She alerted Fox personnel and security to the photos, as is protocol for messages that could be perceived as threats or harassment.
As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, Guilfoyle’s enemies at Fox News had waged a covert and hostile whisper campaign against her.
A person close to the situation said “Fox News really stepped in it.”
“The same turns of phrases used by Fox with Kimberly Guilfoyle in the separation agreement appear word for word in the article” in HuffPost, this individual claimed.
In a pair of Tweets just after this story posted, HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali said that “none of my sources for my story had access to any agreements” and that "Fox News PR was not my source for this story or any story I’ve ever done."
Knowledgeable sources and Fox insiders warned The Daily Beast about a “file” and “oppo” on Guilfoyle’s workplace conduct that Fox News brass had kept over the years and were potentially preparing to weaponize. Those warnings began shortly after the network’s notoriously ruthless public-relations and comms shop appeared to kick her to the curb last Friday with a passive-aggressive single-line statement simply reading, “Fox News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle.”
In a statement to The Daily Beast earlier this week, days before the HuffPost story dropped, Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti, a former Roger Ailes lieutenant, said, “Fox News in no way, shape, or form has said anything about Kimberly other than the statement issued by the network [last] Friday. To suggest anything otherwise is absolutely false, downright malicious, and defamatory.”
Fox News late Friday declined comment on this story.
The Fox News headquarters in New York City has a reputation in the cable-news business as a workplace where intense backbiting, palace intrigue, and high-profile feuds run rampant—a work environment resembling that of President Donald Trump’s administration. Fox has become, of course, a powerful and influential ally for the Trump administration and the Trump family. Trump Jr., who Guilfoyle is currently dating, has appeared numerous times on the network’s programs.
Emails verified and reviewed by The Daily Beast have shown that Fox News’s comms operation has in the past secretly planted negative stories in the press intended as public, fingerprints-free retribution against some of their own on-air talent, such as hosts Bill O’Reilly and Stuart Varney—the latter of whom still works at Fox.
Guilfoyle, who is now vice chairwoman of the Trump-boosting America First Action super PAC, made her share of enemies in the Fox building over the years, and they’ve been leaking aggressively against her.
John Singer, employment counsel to Kimberly Guilfoyle, said, “Any accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless. During her lengthy and decorated tenure with the company, Kimberly was beloved, well-respected, and supportive of anyone she ever met. It’s utterly preposterous that there are those who are nefariously and greedily twisting innocent conversations amongst close friends into much more than what it actually was for financial gain. Kimberly has happily moved onto the next chapter of her life and hopes others will do the same.”
Lydia Polgreen of The Huffington Post told The Daily Beast on Friday that “we stand by our reporting.”
A source familiar with the situation added that “the big question is will DTJ turn against Fox News? Can he really afford to? Or will both Fox News and Kim just ‘fake news’ it up?”
—With additional reporting by Maxwell Tani