Fox News host Shep Smith comes out as gay as he defends Roger Ailes in an interview

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith opened up about his sexuality in a new interview with Huffington Post.

The 52-year-old anchor, who has been the subject of tabloid rumors for years in regard to his sexuality, came out as gay in the interview and simultaneously defended embattled Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes.

In the interview, the reporter asked if Ailes had asked him to remain closeted for the network.

"That's not true," Smith said of Ailes. "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."

And when asked if Ailes had ever made homophobic remarks when he was around, Smith said, "No, never."

PHOTOS: Shepard Smith through the years

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Shepard Smith through the years
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 248 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fox New�s Shepard Smith during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Shepard Smith during Friday's 12/16/16 show in New York.

(Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 248

Pictured: (l-r) Fox News Shepard Smith during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 17, 2015

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends the 19th Annual National Lesbian And Gay Journalists Association New York Benefit at The Prince George Ballroom on March 20, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends the 19th Annual National Lesbian And Gay Journalists Association New York Benefit at The Prince George Ballroom on March 20, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends salute to Brit Hume at Cafe Milano on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Fox News anchor, Shepard Smith on the set of 'Studio B with Shepard Smith' during a rehersal at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

THE VIEW

Shepard Smith was a guest on 'THE VIEW,' THURSDAY, NOV. 5, 2009 

(Photo by Steve Fenn/ABC via Getty Images) SHEPARD SMITH

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on the set of 'Studio B with Shepard Smith' at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

FOX News Correspondent Shepard Smith attends the Fox News Channel 10th Anniversary celebration on October 4, 2006 in New York City.

(Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

Harvey Weinstein, John Antioco, Chairman/CEO of Blockbuster Video, Joshua Jackson, Emilio Estevez, Sharon Stone, Christian Slater, Mathew Smith, General Merchandise Manager of Blockbuster video, Nick Shepard, President of Blockbuster Video, Freddy Rodriguez, Bob Weinstein, Trevor Drinkwater, Steve Bannon and Larry Madden, CFO of The Weinstein Company. 

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for The Weinstein Company)

Chairman & CEO, FOX News Roger Ailes (R) and (via satellite from Kiryat Shmona, Israel) anchor Shepard Smith from 'Fox News' speak during the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the FOX Broadcasting Company at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on July 24, 2006 in Pasadena, California.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith and Rick Leventhal, news anchors for FOXNews.

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

Jane Skinner and Shepard Smith during Fox at NCTA - FX, Fuel TV and Fox Reality - April 10, 2006 in Atlanta, GA, United States.

(Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage for Fox Television Network)

The Pulse correspondents, Bill O'Reilly and Laurie Dhue with 'The Pulse' host, Shepard Smith at the FOX 2002 Summer TCA Tour, held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, January 22, 2002.

(photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect).

Shepard Smith during 2002 Fox Summer TCA Party at Sky Bar at The Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California, United States.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)

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"He treated me with respect, just respect," Smith continued. "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."

At the time, Smith and Ailes provided TVNewser with a joint statement addressing the rumor.

"This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication," they said. "As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally."

Ailes was asked to leave the Fox News network earlier this year in the wake of sexual harassment claims by Fox News host Gretchen Carlson and a variety of other women at the network.

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