The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Ailes dismissed Ms. Carlson because she refused to sleep with him. Ms. Carlson claims Mr. Ailes retaliated by not renewing her contract with Fox News when it expired on June 23.
According to a statement on behalf of Ms. Carlson’s lawyers, during a meeting last September Mr. Ailes said, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
The complaint alleges that Ms. Carlson requested that meeting to discuss ongoing “discriminatory treatment,” according to the statement.
The suit was filed in New Jersey Superior Court on Wednesday morning, a spokesman for Ms. Carlson’s lawyers said.
Fox News, which is not named as a target of the suit, did not respond to an email and a voice message seeking comment.
The suit also alleges that Mr. Ailes made frequent “sexually-charged comments,” that he called Ms. Carlson a “man hater” who tried to “show up the boys” and that there was unequal treatment in the newsroom by some of her other male colleagues, according to the statement on behalf of Ms. Carlson.
Ms. Carlson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the statement today said.
“The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson” averaged 1.1 million viewers and 0.1 rating in the core 25-to-54 demo its 2 p.m. time slot in May, the last full month Ms. Carlson was host.
Ms. Carlson joined Fox News in 2005 as host of the cable network’s morning show “Fox & Friends.” In 2013, she moved to the afternoon time slot.
Ms. Carlson took to social media today, posting to her Facebook page: “As you may have heard, I am no longer with Fox News. I value your support and friendship, especially now, so please stay in touch with me.”