Shepard Smith

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, long rumored to be gay, made it official today (Monday, Oct. 17), coming out as a gay man in response to a question over whether the network’s former head, Roger Ailes, forced him to remain closeted, according to a report by The Advocate.

The interview was conducted by Huffington Post D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim and posted on the HuffPost site this morning,

In 2014 Gawker editor Nick Denton reported that Ailes told Smith, during contract negotiations, that he couldn’t come out because Fox News viewers wouldn’t tolerate a gay news anchor. Ailes and Smith issued a joint statement at the time denying that claim.

Ailes resigned his position as CEO of Fox News in July following allegations by numerous women that he had sexually harassed them. Smith told Huffington Post that the allegations against Ailes were “horrifying,” and “trusts were betrayed.”