The timeline of Roger Ailes' downfall

Following 15 days of sexual harassment claims and counter claims, Roger Ailes resigned as the chief executive of Fox News after 20 years at the company on Thursday.

Here is how the story of his downfall unfolded.

JULY 6: The Gretchen Carlson lawsuit.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson files a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, accusing him of sexual harassment. The presenter said she was fired in 2015 after 11 years at the news channel because she turned down the advances of Ailes.

The Fox News chief executive and chairman strongly disputes Carlson’s claims.

“This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously,” Ailes said.

JULY 7: Fox News host defend Ailes.

Some of Ailes’ top hosts and allies rally to his defence.

Greta Van Susteren describes Carlson as a “disgruntled” former colleague, adding: “I deal with Roger Ailes often. I’ve often been alone with Roger Ailes in his office over the course of 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like what I’m reading about in the papers and the magazine.”

Meanwhile, more than 10 other women accuse Ailes of sexual harassment following Carlson’s lawsuit, according to Carlson’s attorneys.

Accusations appear elsewhere as well. “He asked me to turn around so he can see my arse,” one Fox News contributor told the Huffington Post.

JULY 9: Other named women make accusations.

Ailes’ biographer and New York Magazine writer Gabriel Sherman speaks to six women with historic grievances against the Fox News boss. Two go on the record: Kellie Boyle and Marsha Callahan.

JULY 11: 21st Century Fox launches investigation.

21st Century Fox calls in corporate law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to conduct an investigation into the allegations against Ailes.

JULY 12: Neil Cavuto defends Ailes.

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Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto writes a piece in defence of Ailes for Business Insider.

On the accusations against his former boss, Cavuto said: “I’ve never seen it. I’ve never witnessed it. Not even hints of it. Meetings with Roger aren’t about nonsense. He doesn’t have time for it, and God knows he wouldn’t countenance male or female staffers allowing it.”

JULY 15: Ailes tries to kill Carlson’s lawsuit.

The Fox News CEO’s lawyers attempt to move Carlson’s lawsuit to arbitration in a motion filed in a New Jersey federal court.

JULY 18: New York Magazine claims Ailes is on the brink.

Gabriel Sherman reports that Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, are in agreement that Ailes should go. The decision comes in the wake of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison’s investigation.

JULY 19: Rumours about Ailes’ replacement emerge.

Variety, Forbes, Financial Times, and Bloomberg all weigh-in with predictions on who could replace Ailes at Fox News.

Frontrunners are said to include Bill Shine, senior executive vice president, Fox News and Jay Wallace, the channel’s executive vice president, news and editorial.

On the same day, the New York Magazine reveals that Fox News host Megyn Kelly has made accusations about Ailes as part of the 21st Century Fox probe.

JULY 20: Fox News presenters reportedly prepare walkout.

Ailes’ departure from Fox News could trigger a mass walkout by the network’s top presenters, according to Breitbart and the Financial Times. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren are named as potential protesters.

JULY 21: Ailes resigns.

After 15 days of headlines, Ailes resigns as the chairman and chief executive of Fox News.

Rupert Murdoch steps into the breech to take control in the interim.

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