When a powerful man gets caught up in a sexual harassment scandal, the spotlight often falls on their spouse. There is always that general belief that she must have known and choose to look away. There is also the wait to see if she would support him or ditch him. One person who has faced such unwanted scrutiny in recent times is Elizabeth Tilson. Tilson is the wife of the late media mogul – Roger Ailes. Her husband was forced to resign from several exalted positions in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal in 2016. Want to know more about the woman caught in the eye of the storm? Then, we have got you covered.
Elizabeth Tilson Bio
Elizabeth Tilson Ailes was born in December 1960. There is not much information with regards to her childhood or family background. Tilson attended the Southern Connecticut State University where she obtained a degree in journalism. After that, she joined the NBC as a researcher and booker on their program, News at Sunrise. Tilson also worked as a researcher and booker on Before Hours – a daily business show which she co-produced with the prestigious Wall Street Journal.
The media personality eventually worked her way up the ranks and became the youngest female vice president in the history of the NBC network. Asides her illustrious career with the NBC, Elizabeth Tilson also played ground-breaking roles in the setting up of financial networks such as CNBC and MSNBC. Tilson’s Journalism career has not been limited to television. She is also the publisher and editor of two New York papers, Putnam County News and Record as well as Putnam County Courier. She reportedly had a controlling and paranoid management style and often had staff followed in order to determine their loyalty.
Family (Husband and Son)
Elizabeth Tilson was married to media mogul, Roger Ailes. Ailes was born on the 15th of May 1940 in Warren, Ohio. He studied TV and radio journalism at Ohio University and graduated in 1962. After that, he worked as an executive producer at various stations before dabbling into political consulting. He consulted for Republican presidents such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. After his consulting stint, Ailes went back to journalism and was later appointed the CEO of Fox News in 1996. He would go on to become CEO of Fox Television Studios and Fox Business Network as well.
Tilson first met her husband while they were both working at CNBC in the 90s. She was the director of programming while he was running the station. Their working relationship later blossomed into romance and they got married on Valentine’s Day 1998. The couple had only one child together; a son named Zachary who was born on New Year’s Day 2000.
Sexual Harassment Scandal and Husband’s Death
Between 2014 and 2016, several women who had previously worked with Tilson’s husband alleged that he sexually harassed them. One alleged that he offered her a raise if she would sleep with him. Another, a former Fox News anchor named Gretchen Carlson, alleged that she was fired for rebuffing his advances. Yet another, popular host – Megyn Kelly, also stated that he made unwanted sexual advances towards her. Overall, no less than six women made damaging accusations against Ailes and he was given the option of either resigning or being sacked. He chose the former and stepped down from Fox News on the 21st of July 2016.
The whole scandal traumatized Elizabeth Tilson and she reportedly contemplated divorce. She, however, stayed back but the couple lived in separate residences. Roger Ailes maintained a low profile until the 10th of May 2018 when he fell in his bathroom. He was hospitalized but his health was worsened by hemophilia; a condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot properly. He eventually passed away on the 18th of May 2018. A funeral was held for Ailes at the St Edward Roman Catholic Church, Palm Beach, Florida. Tilson paid tribute to him describing him as a loving husband, a loyal friend and a patriot.
Other Facts about Elizabeth Tilson
– She inherited control of her husband’s fortune worth $100 million.
– Tilson was responsible for launching Cable Network America’s Talking which later metamorphosed into MSNBC.
– She not only launched CNBC but also facilitated its merger with FNN.
– She supports several charity causes through the ACI Senior Development Corporation.
– Tilson owns a hilltop home, made of Adirondack River Stone, in Garrison New York.
– Her husband was previously married, and divorced twice, before their union.