Lawyers for Fox News chairman Roger Ailes on Friday asked a federal judge to halt anchor Gretchen Carlson's "shameless publicity campaign" against her longtime former boss and send her sexual harassment lawsuit against him to arbitration.
In a filing with the federal court in Newark, New Jersey, Ailes' lawyers said Carlson's contract with the network had required her to arbitrate any employment disputes.
Lawyers for Carlson were not immediately available for comment.
Carlson sued Ailes on Wednesday in the Superior Court in New Jersey, portraying him as a persistent harasser who demoted and then last month forced her from Fox News, where she had worked since 2005, after she resisted his sexual advances.
Ailes' lawyers, who have strongly denied Carlson's charges, said the case did not belong in state court to begin with because too much money was at stake and because Carlson and Ailes lived in different states.
They also accused Carlson of "gamesmanship" by suing only Ailes and not the network as well, allowing her to engage in a public "tar and feather" campaign against her former boss.
"Plaintiff's ploy of filing in Superior Court to justify her shameless publicity campaign against Roger Ailes should not be countenanced," the lawyers said. "There is no legal basis upon which she can rightfully assert that she was entitled to sue Defendant Ailes in court and sully his reputation in public.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman)