In a new interview, Sheperd Smith, longtime news anchor with Fox News, opens up about his sexuality and how it played into work politics at the conservative network. While Smith has never officially come out saying “I am gay,” he is an established member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He is also an LGBT advocate and his group of friends and supporters are all aware that he is homosexual.
Rumors have circulated that Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, who was recently let go in the midst of sexual harassment accusations, told Sheperd Smith to stay in the closet.
The anchor says he never felt pressure from Roger Ailes. “He treated me with respect, just respect. I wasn’t new in the business when I came here ― I’d been doing reporting for 12 years ― but I wasn’t old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”
Smith added: “He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father. I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
When asked about the sex scandal and the allegations that Ailes often used homophobic slurs, Smith shares: “This was a real shock to the system, and it upended a lot of things that we thought we knew.”
It sounds like Smith was left with a deep sense of betrayal when the truth about Roger Ailes came to the surface.