Gretchen Carlson felt 'validated' when Roger Ailes was forced out of Fox

Roger Ailes resigns as Fox News chairman

When Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, she had no idea she wasn't the only woman who'd been subject to Ailes's repeated advances for years. "I thought I would be fighting this all by myself," she told the Washington Post in her first interview since the case was filed.

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But as more and more women came forward with similar stories, including Fox superstar Megyn Kelly, the Murdochs used the women's complaints to force Ailes out of the company, in one of the highest-profile ousters at any major news network.

See images of Gretchen Carlson through the years:

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Gretchen Carlson

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Miss America At Spireclub -- Miss America Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson plays Billiars In one of the rooms in the new club which offer many activities. With her showing how to shoot, is James. Stewart, Marketing agent for Pire club. September 15, 1988.

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Debbye Turner, Miss America 1990, Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004, and Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989

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Gretchen Carlson attends private screening: 'Memoirs of a Geisha' at Sony Screening Room on November 22, 2005 in New York City.

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John Voight, left, visits with anchors of 'Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson.

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John Edward, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on October 5, 2010 in New York City.

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Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson is introduced at the 2010 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Demi Lovato, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Clayton Morris visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX studios on August 18, 2010 in New York City.

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Ali Landry (C) poses for a photo with 'FOX & Friends' Co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy outside the FOX studios on September 9, 2010 in New York City.

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Elmo and host Gretchen Carlson visits 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on November 18, 2010 in New York City.

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'Fox & Friends' co-anchor Gretchen Carlson and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan attend 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on January 17, 2011 in New York City.

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Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson introduces pageant judges during the 2011 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 15, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

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Host Steve Doocy, vocalist Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down and host Gretchen Carlson pose for photos during a taping of 'FOX and Friends' outside of FOX Studios on July 29, 2011 in New York City.

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'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade greet the crowd during a taping of 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on July 15, 2011 in New York City.

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Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

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Host Gretchen Carlson and Craig Morgan speak during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series at FOX Studios on July 13, 2012 in New York City.

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Gretchen Carlson is the guest co-hoston 'The View.'

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Professional tennis double players and 2012 olympic gold medalists, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan chat and play table tennis with 'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade live on 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on August 23, 2012 in New York City.

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Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on July 19, 2013 in New York City.

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Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, John Lynch and The cast of 'Duck Dynasty' Si Robertson, Jep Robertson and Willie Robertson visit 'Fox And Friends' at Fox News Studios on September 9, 2013 in New York City.

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Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' panel at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson attends 'Persecuted' screening at Lighthouse International Theater on July 18, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

THE VIEW

Mindy Kaling and Gretchen Carlson were the guests, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' '

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Gretchen Carlson, Debra Shriver and Danielle Weisberg attend Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles Hosts the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

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Gretchen Carlson arrives for the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

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Gretchen Carlson attends Women at the Top: Female Empowerment in Media Panel at the 2016 Greenwich International Film Festival on June 12, 2016 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TV commentator/author Gretchen Carlson visits Insight at SiriusXM Studios on April 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Editor-in-Chief of New York Magazine Adam Moss, Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping Jane Francisco, News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of the Meredith Parents Network Liz Vaccariello, and Editor-in-Chief of People Magazine Jess Cagle attend the American Magazine Media Conference 2017 on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for American Magazine Media Conference)
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Sure, they also gave him $40 million, but Carlson said her overwhelming feeling when she heard the news was of "validation," and then, eventually, anger: "I felt angry that it took so long," she said.

Carlson said she was grateful Kelly, among others, had come forward. "I appreciated that she told the truth, and I know it was risky," she said, but held that "the multitude of women" who came forward — and not just Kelly's testimony — was what ultimately forced Fox's hand. She added that she wasn't surprised when current Fox employees rushed to defend Ailes after she'd gone public:

"Some of them were lawyers. They should have known better, so I was surprised. It was like, 'Wow, you have no idea what you're talking about," she said. "But I was at Fox a long time. I know how it works. You could sense that it all was orchestrated."

She went on:

"We've moved the conversation, but we haven't changed the world in three weeks. I don't want to tell women they won't be retaliated against. One of the big parts of this equation is men. It will take men to change the environment, too. It's paramount that ... men treat their colleagues like they would want to see their mother treated."

But when asked if she regretted effectively ending Ailes's career, she replied with just a single word: "No."

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