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

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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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"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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