Exclusive: Kimberly Guilfoyle left Fox News after investigation into misconduct allegations, sources say

When it was revealed last week that longtime Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle would be leaving the network, some Fox News and White House insiders were surprised that she was choosing to move on from the cable news channel and head to a pro-Donald Trump super PAC. For nearly two years — even once rumors eventually kicked up that she might join the Trump administration — Guilfoyle said that, as a single mother, she had to think of her son’s financial future and couldn’t afford to leave the high-paying gig, multiple sources told HuffPost.

Guilfoyle’s departure was initially billed as her decision. However, as HuffPost first reported last week, multiple sources said she did not leave the network voluntarily. They said Guilfoyle was informed her time at Fox News was up following a human resources investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior including sexual misconduct, and that her lawyers had been involved since the spring. Sources also said that despite being told she would have to leave by July, Guilfoyle repeatedly attempted to delay her exit and tried to have her allies appeal to Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, to let her stay at the network.

This story is based on interviews conducted over the past year with 21 sources inside and outside Fox News and 21st Century Fox. All sources spoke to HuffPost on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak to the press, did not want to raise Guilfoyle’s ire or have signed nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from speaking to others about their experiences.

32 PHOTOS
Kimberly Guilfoyle out and about
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Kimberly Guilfoyle out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Bice Cucina Restaurant Opening on June 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - MAY 26: Kimberly Guilfoyle Attends Social Life Magazine Celebrate The Memorial Day Issue And 15 Years Of Print on May 26, 2018 in Bridgehampton, New York. (Photo by Cassidy Sparrow/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Sean Hannity & Friends celebrate the publication of 'The Geraldo Show: A Memoir' by Geraldo Rivera at Del Frisco's on April 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the screening of Final Portrait at Guggenheim Museum on March 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Ostuni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Richard Johnson and Kimberly Guilfoyle attend the Ambassador Paolo Zampolli Reception on March 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Paolo Zampolli)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends 'Follow Your Star' Book Launch at 800 B Fifth Avenue on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children 2017 Food & Wine Gala on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle poses backstage at the Zang Toi fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 3, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Journalist Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the Chiara Boni La Petite Robe collection during, New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 3, Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Zang Toi during New York Fashion Week at Pier 59 on February 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: Fox News anchor, Kimberly Guilfoyle (L) and director at Shin Advisors, Susan Shin attend Jason Binn's birthday celebration at Megu at Dream Downtown on January 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DuJour )
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: �ox Hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld sit on the panel of Fox News Channel's 'The Five' as pundit Bob Beckel rejoins the show at FOX Studios on January 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: Fox Host Kimberly Guilfoyle sits on the panel of Fox News Channel's 'The Five' as pundit Bob Beckel rejoins the show at FOX Studios on January 17, 2017 in New York City. � (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Ronn Torossian,�nd Kimberly Guilfoyle attend the JetSmarter x Material Good VIP Event Hosted By Talent Resources at Material Good on December 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for JetSmarter)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) - Food & Wine Gala on November 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Melissa Francis, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Gigi Stone Woods attend The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) - Food & Wine Gala on November 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Celebration of the Launch of the Plukka and Artoriz Pop-Up Boutique at Plukka and Artoriz on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Owen Hoffmann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends 'Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole' Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Sonja Morgan (L) and Kimberly Guilfoyle attend Stuart Weitzman And Quest Invite You To Celebrate The New Look At The Exclusive Re-opening Of The Madison Avenue Flagship Store on October 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Stuart Weitzman)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Zang Toi Front Row September 2016 during New York Fashion Week at Pier 59 Studios on September 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Official Vivienne Tam SS 2017 After Party at The Skylark on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Cheryl Casone and Kimberly Guilfoyle pose backstage at the Taoray Wang fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Taoray Wang)
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 20: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the 2016 Michael Bolton Charities Fundraiser, 'An Evening Under the Stars' at a Private Estate on August 20, 2016 in Bridgehampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Ainsley Earhardt, Mike Bub Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle attend 10th Annual Summer Social to Benefit Special Olympics NYC at Marquee on August 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 23: TV Personality Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Armarium's Missoni Launch With Ottavio Missoni at the home of Marigay McKee and Bill Ford on July 23, 2016 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Zang Toi (designer) attends the launch of Guilfoyle's cover issue of 25a Magazine at The Hunt & Fish Club on April 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC at BGC Partners, INC on September 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
WATER MILL, NY - JULY 25: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the 22nd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction 'Circus of Stillness' at The Watermill Center July 25, 2015 in Water Mill, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the 2014 New York Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children Fall Benefit at Metropolitan Club on November 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: (L-R) 'FOX & Friends' co-hosts Steve Doocy as Captain America, Kimberly Guilfoyle as Wonder Woman, Tucker Carlson as The Incredible Hulk and Maria Molina as Bat Girl attend 'FOX & Friends'' 2014 Halloween Celebration at FOX Plaza on October 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: New anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the 'Fury' New York premiere at DGA Theater on October 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the Vivienne Tam fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
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Guilfoyle announced Tuesday that she had left Fox News.

In response to an email with a list of 19 detailed questions, Guilfoyle’s attorney John Singer wrote the following statement:

“Any accusations of Kimberly engaging in inappropriate work-place conduct are unequivocally baseless and have been viciously made by disgruntled and self-interested employees. During her lengthy and decorated tenure with the company, Kimberly was beloved, well-respected, and supportive of anyone she ever met. It’s utterly preposterous that there are those who are nefariously and greedily twisting innocent conversations amongst close friends into much more than what it actually was for financial gain. Kimberly has happily moved onto the next chapter of her life and hopes others will do the same.”

Multiple sources told HuffPost that Guilfoyle’s exit from Fox News, where she had worked since 2006, came after her alleged inappropriate workplace behavior could no longer be tolerated by the network. Vanity Fair, which broke the story about Guilfoyle leaving the network, and The Daily Beast, which reported that Fox News staff allegedly waged a “hostile whisper campaign” against Guilfoyle, have said she crossed the line by using network makeup artists for personal outings, but the accusations Guilfoyle faced were much more serious.

Six sources said Guilfoyle’s behavior included showing personal photographs of male genitalia to colleagues (and identifying whose genitals they were), regularly discussing sexual matters at work and engaging in emotionally abusive behavior toward hair and makeup artists and support staff.

According to sources, Guilfoyle was the subject of a human resources investigation that started last year and involved interviews with Fox News employees, including hair and makeup artists and producers. Sources said HR warned Guilfoyle about her behavior several times, including a stern warning from Kevin Lord, the head of Fox News HR, in the fall of 2017. HuffPost also began investigating Guilfoyle’s workplace conduct last year.

Sources said 21st Century Fox prefers that problematic employees retire or resign rather than be terminated ― the company has taken this approach with Fox News talent and executives in the past, as well as with Guilfoyle, who was not formally terminated. This method gives talent and executives a quieter way to exit and the network avoids a contentious departure. According to two sources, the network told Guilfoyle she was being given time to find a new job that she could announce before leaving.

A spokesperson for Fox News declined to comment for this story. In response to questions last Friday about Guilfoyle’s exit, the network issued a terse statement: “FOX News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle.” It declined to comment any further on her departure. Hours after HuffPost published its report that Guilfoyle’s departure was not voluntary, her attorneys from the law firm Clare Locke LLP sent a threatening legal notice to HuffPost and this reporter, claiming the story was false and defamatory and that failure to retract it would constitute evidence of “actual malice.”

Becoming Isolated

Two years ago, network insiders considered the idea of Guilfoyle’s involuntary departure from Fox News to be impossible. She was a protégé of Roger Ailes, who was the chairman of the network at the time, and many saw her as untouchable. She was, as one source described it, “the woman who knows too much.”

But Guilfoyle had become increasingly isolated in the past year, sources said. Three of her co-hosts on “The Five” (Dana Perino, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld) have been given second shows to host themselves. Guilfoyle was not given the opportunity to host her own program while she was a co-host of the panel show.

Current and former Fox News employees told HuffPost that Guilfoyle openly complained about feeling slighted and criticized other women at the network. One target of her criticism was Judge Jeanine Pirro, who hosts the popular show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturdays and is close to Trump. Guilfoyle told colleagues that Pirro was too old (she is 67) and should no longer be on television, according to two sources who also said Pirro caught wind of Guilfoyle’s disparaging comments.

Guilfoyle also began dating Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, this spring, and sources said some people at Fox News were concerned that easing her out of the network would be slowed or halted due to the Trump family’s close relationship with Murdoch. But a well-placed source told HuffPost that Murdoch signed off on the plan to remove Guilfoyle, which was brought to him by Suzanne Scott, who became CEO of Fox News in May.

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Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle together
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Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle together
Making America Great Again! 🇺🇸#maga #kag #americafirst
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01: Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle attend the DC premiere of the film, 'Death of a Nation,' at E Street Cinema on August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
Great day on the water fishing with @kimberlyguilfoyle who put on a clinic on how to get it done. While 99% of my fishing is #catchandrelease every once an a while you have to bring home dinner... and it was delicious. #fishing #outdoors #weekend #Repost @donaldjtrumpjr with @get_repost ・・・Thank you Butch Payne! Great fisherman and great American #starislandyachtclub 🇺🇸🎣
A winning team! I was thrilled to join @donaldjtrumpjr yesterday at #hsls2018 @turningpointusa! @charliekirk1776 🇺🇸MAGA
‪Today I have a bitter-sweet announcement. I’ve decided to leave Fox News Channel and dedicate myself full time to joining America First as Vice Chairwoman, campaigning across the country and firmly standing with President Trump. I will miss my Fox family. I thank Fox for the opportunities it has provided me. I thank all the talented producers, staff, and above all I thank the best fans out there.‬ #maga 🇺🇸
Great time last weekend in Monaco 🇲🇨 with Don for our friends big birthday. 🎉
Great day in Paris with @donaldjtrumpjr at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower on the way to our friend’s 50th birthday party. It’s going to be a blast!!! 🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷 #paris #france #birthday
An incredible afternoon at the White House! Thankful and proud to be an American! God bless all our troops & God keep our nation safe. Happy Independence Day 🇺🇸❤️💃🏾@donaldjtrumpjr
#Repost @donaldjtrumpjr with @get_repost ・・・ A very Happy 4th of July to everyone! It was great meeting all the veterans and active duty service members visiting the White House! Today is America’s birthday, and we are making it GREAT again! #fourthofjuly #weekend #usa 🇺🇸 dress 👗 @zangtoi 🙏😊
#Repost @donaldjtrumpjr with @get_repost ・・・ Oh oh I think we have a natural. From 22 LR to 6.5 Creedmoor to 375 ELR at 2000 yards @kimberlyguilfoyle was on point this weekend in Montana... she didn’t miss a target! She also had a bit of a lead foot and addiction to the mud with the Razor. 😂🇺🇸😂🇺🇸😂 good times. #montana #shooting #longrange #mt #offroad #outdoors
Amazing time tonight at the @turningpointusa High School Leadership Summit. Amazing crowd with incredible speakers. #hsls2018 #tpusa #highschool
Amazing weekend in Montana with @donaldjtrumpjr here are some shots from our trip to the Stillwater River which we floated for the day on Saturday. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #flyfishing #fishing #weekend #outdoors #montana
Great time floating the Stillwater River yesterday in MT with @kimberlyguilfoyle. It doesn’t get prettier than this. What a way to spend a weekend. #fishing #flyfishing #montana #mt #outdoors
Always great catching up with my good friend @bretmichaelsofficial and all the boys from @poison. You can’t find a cooler group of guys who love their fans and do so much for our vets. Great show last night on Long Island. #hairmetal #80s #90s #rock
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While Scott reports jointly to Murdoch and his son Lachlan, who also holds the title of executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the elder Murdoch is particularly passionate about running the cable news network and has a close hand in the decision-making. Sources said Guilfoyle’s allies had repeatedly attempted to lobby Murdoch but that he was impervious to those efforts. A source familiar with Murdoch’s thinking told HuffPost that the executive bristles at outside efforts to push him on business matters and that he had caught wind of Guilfoyle’s behavior and was not interested in allowing it to continue.

Fox News was a hotbed of sexual harassment and retaliation under Ailes, but executives at Fox News have worked over the past two years to improve the workplace culture and institute major changes in large part due to potential legal liabilities and regulatory concerns in the U.S. and U.K. Guilfoyle, according to several sources, failed to adapt to the new culture and still operated as if she were working under Ailes.

A spokesperson for Murdoch declined to comment for this story.

Guilfoyle called female on-air talent at Fox News and asked them to make supportive statements about Ailes publicly, sources said. Five sources who said they received calls from Guilfoyle said she framed it as making a decision as to whether they were 'Team Roger' or 'Team Gretchen.'

Some media reports have speculated that Guilfoyle’s relationship with Trump Jr. and her desire to actively campaign with him caused her to leave the network, but Guilfoyle had been told her time at the network was up before it was revealed that she was dating Trump Jr. And while Fox News standards would not have allowed her to campaign for a political candidate at events or online, a closeness to the Trump family and Trump administration certainly wouldn’t be seen as a reason to leave. Sean Hannity, Pirro and Lou Dobbs, who all work for Fox News or Fox Business, are close to the president and serve as informal advisers to him.

Guilfoyle, a former San Francisco County prosecutor, started at the network in 2006 as a legal analyst and worked her way up to become co-host of “The Five.” She also served as a fill-in host for top-rated Fox News stars like Hannity. While living in the city, Guilfoyle was married for several years to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (Newsom is now lieutenant governor of California and the front-runner in the current gubernatorial campaign). This reporter worked for Newsom for several years but has no relationship with Guilfoyle and has never spoken to her.

The Assistant

For many years, Guilfoyle was close to her Fox News colleague Eric Bolling, who was pushed out of the network after HuffPost reported that he sent unsolicited lewd photos to female colleagues. They shared a young female assistant who, according to three sources, was deeply unhappy at work and was desperate to get out from under what she described to sources as Guilfoyle’s emotionally abusive behavior and attempts to involve her in her personal sexual matters by regularly sharing details about her sex life. “[Guilfoyle’s assistant] was desperate to get away from Kimberly, she kept on trying to find a way to get a new job or get reassigned within the network,” a source who had spoken to the assistant told HuffPost.

Bolling was pushed out of the company in September 2017 following a HuffPost report about his alleged misconduct. The assistant was interviewed by an outside law firm as part of 21st Century Fox’s investigation into Bolling. After detailing her experiences working for Bolling and Guilfoyle and discussing her options with the network, the assistant was moved to work on another program. The assistant’s lawyer later approached the network about her claims; the assistant was subsequently placed on paid leave at her request. She did not reply to a request for comment.

Loyalty To Roger Ailes, Later A Liability

The current and former Fox News employees who have spoken to HuffPost over the past year said Guilfoyle, who has a reputation for being unfailingly loyal to certain people, caused a rift among women at the network after former network host Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes for sexual harassment and retaliation. Some of those sources expected Guilfoyle to be pushed out for leading the charge against Carlson and others, and were surprised when she managed to hold on.

Guilfoyle called female on-air talent at Fox News in the summer of 2016 and asked them to make supportive statements about Ailes publicly, sources said. Five sources who said they received calls from Guilfoyle said she framed it as making a decision as to whether they were “Team Roger” or “Team Gretchen.”

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Roger Ailes through the years
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Roger Ailes through the years
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
Bill O'Reilly, tv columnist, at left, shown here with Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX tv at the Radio & TV Correspondents annual dinner held at the Washington Hilton. (Photo by Susan Biddle/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ST/AILES DATE: 3/23/99 NP PHOTOG: Helayne Seidman/FTWP multi use LOCATION: Fox News, 1211 6th Ave. NYC SUMMARY: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV CAPTION: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV, in the Fox TV control room. Original Filename: npsent.JPG ORG XMIT: ; 29
385602 07: Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, right, testifies during a hearing on election night 2000 coverage by the networks before the House committee on energy and commerce February 14, 2001 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. Heads of major news organizations have converged on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress, explaining the mistaken calls made on Election Night and promising changes to prevent further errors. (Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 25: Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Network Roger Ailes participates in the 'America's Best Leaders: How do they lead? Where are they taking us?' National Issues Briefing hosted by U.S. News and World Report October 25, 2005 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The talk was held in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images for U.S. News and World Report)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: (L-R) Variety Editor Peter Bart and Producer Roger Ailes attend a cocktail party hosted by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax Books to celebrate Peter Bart's new book ''BOFFO'' on June 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 24: Chairman & CEO, FOX News Roger Ailes from 'Fox News' speaks onstage 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)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Roger Ailes, president of FOX News, poses with his wife Elizabeth on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Fox News President Roger Ailes attends the Hollywood Reporter celebrates 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations, answers questions during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, California July 24, 2006. Picture taken July 24, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
Fox News chief and CEO Roger Ailes speaks during a panel session titled "Democracy and the Media: Are They Compatible?" at the 2005 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills April 19, 2005. The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank, which works to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations in the United States and around the world. REUTERS/Fred Prouser FSP/JK
News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch (R) speaks at a press conference in New York January 30 where it was announced that cable-TV figure Roger Ailes (L) would head the new Fox 24-hour news network. Murdoch said he would spend $80 million a year on the project which will compete with CNN and similar networks planned by ABC and NBC
Prominent cable-TV figure Roger Ailes appears at a press conference in New York January 30 where he was named to head the new Fox 24-hour news network. News Corporation chief Rupert-Murdoch, who made the announcement, said he would spend $80 million a year on the project
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Fox News chairman Roger Ailes walks with his wife Elizabeth Tilson as they leave the News Corp building, July 19, 2016 in New York City. As of late Tuesday afternoon, Ailes and 21st Century Fox are reportedly in discussions concerning his departure from his position as chairman of Fox News. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Janice Min and Roger Ailes attend 'The 35 Most Powerful People In Media' celebrated by The Hollywoood Reporter at Four Seasons Restaurant on April 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Elizabeth Tilson Ailes and Television Producer Roger Ailes attend the Carnegie Hall 125th Season Opening Night Gala at Carnegie Hall on October 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: President of FOX News Roger Ailes attends the 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' New York premiere at SVA Theater on February 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Roger Ailes attends Erica Rivera's 40th Birthday hosted by Geraldo Rivera at Monkey Bar on January 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Geraldo Rivera)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Roger Ailes, Alisyn Camerota and Geraldo Rivera attend Erica Rivera's 40th Birthday hosted by Geraldo Rivera at Monkey Bar on January 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Geraldo Rivera)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: In this handout image provided by FOX News Channel, FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (C) as well as featured keynote speakers, Roy Eaton (L), advertising pioneer and L. Douglas Wilder, former Governor of Virginia attend the Ailes Apprentice Program graduation at FOX News Channel headquarters on November 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by FOX News Channel via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: In this handout image provided by FOX News Channel, FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (C) as well as featured keynote speakers, Roy Eaton (not pictured), advertising pioneer and L. Douglas Wilder (not pictured), former Governor of Virginia attend the Ailes Apprentice Program graduation at FOX News Channel headquarters on November 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by FOX News Channel via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Kreskin and Chairman Fox News and Fox Television Stations Roger Ailes attend the 'Conversations With Kreskin' Book Launch Celebration at Patsy's on November 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
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According to two sources with direct knowledge of the conversations, Guilfoyle began at least two phone calls by noting she had spoken to Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth, and his personal attorney Peter Johnson Jr. At the time, Fox News employees believed Ailes to be virtually unfireable. Guilfoyle’s close relationship with him made them nervous because they were afraid of retaliation if they didn’t support him publicly, sources said.

Sources said that, on the calls, Guilfoyle discussed other Ailes supporters at the network who wanted to do something to help him. And she told at least two female Fox News hosts that she had already informed the Aileses and Fox News executives of the women’s support. The women were shocked to hear that Guilfoyle had made that assumption and painted them into a corner.

Two sources said Guilfoyle was particularly vitriolic in those conversations about then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly, telling one person that Kelly was widely disliked across the newsroom for not speaking up in support of Ailes. (Kelly has since left Fox News for NBC News.) According to multiple sources, Kelly sat down for an interview with the law firm retained by 21st Century Fox to conduct an investigation into misconduct allegations at the network, and Kelly said she had been subject to harassment and intimidation by Ailes.

Two sources told HuffPost that Lachlan Murdoch, who was advocating for Ailes’ ouster, sought to push out Guilfoyle in the summer of 2016 after hearing about her campaign to garner support for Ailes from female Fox News employees.

According to four sources, Guilfoyle also approached then-Fox News host Meghan McCain and told her the network would let her take Perino’s position on “The Five” if she made a statement publicly supporting Ailes. McCain never made such a statement, and Perino is still a host of  “The Five” and of her own program on the network. McCain left Fox News last year to join ABC as a co-host of “The View.”

Many Fox News and Fox Business hosts did speak out in support of Ailes, including Hannity, Pirro, Bill O’Reilly (who was later ousted in his own sexual harassment scandal) and Brit Hume. Some Fox News employees, including executives, have said they have come to regret their support of Ailes, but Guilfoyle remained steadfast in her support of him even after the Murdochs pushed him out.

Guilfoyle’s final days at Fox News were markedly different than her tenure during the Ailes era. She had an open door to the network chairman at the time and was close to his top executives and staffers.

Days before she left Fox News for the last time, Guilfoyle got herself booked on Steve Hilton’s Sunday program ― even though she had been told she was no longer going to be on air. According to two sources, she told Hilton he should tell Fox News brass he wanted her as a regular. Hilton, according to sources, didn’t know that Guilfoyle was leaving the network.

The woman who once organized a lobbying campaign to keep Ailes at Fox News was now fighting for her own future at the network, but this time she didn’t have anyone by her side

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