Fox News anchor Shepard Smith reveals coming out at ‘craziest conservative network’
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has opened up about coming out as gay while working at the TV network.
The journalist joined the Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996, and remains with the conservative news network two decades later.
Smith, who was previously married to a woman, has avoided commenting on his sexuality for years, though he has previously featured in Out Magazine’s Power List and attended a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association gala.
Speaking at a conference, Smith was tapped to talk on a panel titled “It Starts With MEek”, he opened up about his coming out while at the network.
“It wasn’t until seven, or eight, or nine years ago, I started living my truth,” Smith told the crowd gathered to hear the panel.
“I grew up in Holly Springs. I went to the First Methodist Church.
“I went to Ole Miss. I was also trying to avoid what having a normal social life is.
“I didn’t need to go home and find my girlfriend or boyfriend.”
Smith said that back when he came out, he thought his whole world would end by sharing the revelation.
“A. You’re going to hell for it,” Smith said about his internal battle over coming out as gay.
“B. You’ll never have any friends again. C. What are you going to tell your family?
“And by the way, you’re on television on the craziest conservative network on Earth.
“That will probably put you in front of a brick wall. Of course none of that was true, but that’s how it felt.”
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In an interview with the Huffington Post, the anchor quietly confirmed his sexuality, while denying allegations that he was booted out of his prime-time slot by former Fox News president Roger Ailes because he wanted to come out publicly.
Asked if Ailes had ever been homophobic, he said: “No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect.
“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.”
He added of reports that he was kept in the closet: “That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father.”