Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told the Huffington Post that he’s gay in an interview published Monday.

Smith confirmed the rumors by defending former Fox boss Roger Ailes from stories that he prevented him from coming out and made homophobic comments in front of him.

“No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect,” said Smith. “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.”

Smith’s sexuality wasn’t a tightly controlled secret he has appeared on Out Magazine’s Power 50 list. But he didn’t confirm it until now.

Smith also said Ailes never tried stopping him from coming out.

“That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me,” Smith said. “I loved him like a father. I trusted him with my career and with — I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know (how painful the betrayals were). This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”

Ailes resigned from the network earlier this year when a number of employees accused him of sexual harassment. Smith said it was an ordeal.

“It’s such a wonderful place, and it’s been home forever. He was very fatherly and mentorish,” he said. “And now I know that there were other things going on here.”

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