“Over the past 18 years, we’ve had the privilege of working with Shepard Smith throughout his incredible rise from a field reporter to chief news anchor and his recent promotion to managing editor,” Shine wrote.“Throughout his entire tenure here, Roger Ailes and I have fully supported him in both a professional and personal capacity.
We have never asked Shep to discuss or not discuss his private life, and the notion of us having an issue with anyone’s sexuality is not only insulting, but pure fiction.” While Smith denies that Fox has discriminated against him in any way, he has neither confirmed nor denied reports on his sexuality and relationship with Graziano.'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.'Ailes and Smith also released a joint statement after Gawker published their story two years ago, stating: 'As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally.' 'This was a real shock to the system, and it upended a lot of things that we thought we knew.Other sources claimed that Shine was a “major homophobe” and “flipped” upon seeing Smith introduce his boyfriend at the picnic.After Gawker’s report began to spread around the Internet, Ailes and Smith released a joint statement to dismiss the report.
“Shep wanted to and was ready to come out, and Roger just said no.” “They tried to play it up as a big promotion,” an insider told the website. And the coming out thing was a significant part of that.” According to the insiders, it was Fox’s Executive Vice President of Programming Bill Shine that was adamant that Smith stay in the closet after meeting Graziano at the picnic.“His fear was that Shep’s audience would implode,” a source said.