Gretchen Carlson: "For god's sake, stand up for yourself"

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exp Costello Gretchen Carlson_00002001

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Gretchen Carlson: "For god's sake, stand up for yourself" 05:44

Story highlights

  • The former Fox anchor reached a $20 million settlement last year after suing for harassment and retaliation
  • In an interview with CNN's Carol Costello, Carlson challenges Trump to "put women in high-ranking positions"

(CNN)Six months after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson left the network and settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against chairman Roger Ailes, she says she's now focused on helping empower women and girls.

Last July, Carlson sued Ailes for harassment and retaliation. More than 20 other women also reportedly spoke with lawyers about inappropriate behavior by Ailes, who resigned under pressure just two weeks later. In September, Carlson reached a $20 million settlement with 21st Century Fox.
In an interview with CNN's Carol Costello, Carlson said that six months later, she's "good" and "spending time with my family."
    After Costello asked how she had "found the strength" to go on, Carlson said the experience had motivated her to concentrate on helping others.
    "I'm all about recreating myself in the moment in time. I'm setting up a fund to empower girls and women to speak up, on all issues, not just sexual harassment. For me, it's about inspiring women to come together," she said.
    Carlson said she has signed on to become a columnist for Time Magazine's new online publication for women, "Motto."
    "I'm specifically going to be writing about female empowerment and so I'm really looking forward to that," she said.
    Carlson, who is registered as Independent voter, told Costello that the election of Donald Trump had troubled her.
    "He has said that he loves women, and that he believes in women and I challenge him to those comments," she said.
    "I challenge him to then put women in high-ranking positions. Show America that your words are true," she added.
    As to why the majority of white women voted for Trump despite his controversial comments in the now infamous Access Hollywood tape, Carlson suggested that some voters' desire for new "policies" had "superseded some of the basic tenets in the way in which that we treat one another."
    When Costello asked Carlson what she hoped a young person today would take away from her story, Carlson gestured to a bracelet on her wrist on which the phrase "Carpe Diem" is engraved.
    "Seize the day," she said.
    "Be brave and be fearless, and for god's sake stand up for yourself."