Laurie Luhn is one of the main characters in Showtime's The Loudest Voice, which chronicles the real-life allegations against former Fox News boss Roger Ailes. Though the series is based on some of the explosive reporting that eventually caused Ailes to resign, Laurie Luhn's opinion of The Loudest Voice doesn't seem to be too favorable. She even filed a lawsuit against the production, saying it violated her sense of privacy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Luhn's attorney said Showtime's series was "planning to show her as a pimp for Ailes, willingly lining up women for him to sexually assault," and therefore she chose to file a $750 million suit and an injunction that would prevent them from using Luhn's story in any way. The suit was later dropped by Luhn, according to Variety. Her attorney said "the matter has been resolved to the parties' mutual satisfaction," and Showtime declined to comment on the matter at all, the network reports.
Still, despite her reservations, the show is based on original reporting by Gabriel Sherman, a former reporter for New York magazine who broke the story of Luhn's allegations. Luhn gave Sherman more than 11 hours of interviews to tell her story, in which she mentioned her own instances of alleged abuse spanning two decades, and the arrangements she allegedly helped Ailes make with other women.
Sherman went on to write the book on which The Loudest Voice is based, which focused on Luhn's and other women's allegations against Ailes.
Given all that, Luhn obviously didn't participate in the actual production of The Loudest Voice, and also didn't speak with the actor playing her part. Annabelle Wallis takes the role in the series, and though she knows Luhn didn't want to be involved, she said she still feels "protective" of her.
"I have not spoken to Laurie, and I really feel protective of her. I feel really indebted to her. She's an incredible woman. She's done incredible things, she's endured a lot, and I have deep respect for her," Wallis told The Hollywood Reporter.
Wallis also noted that she felt Luhn has been a groundbreaking presence in terms of moving conversations about sexual harassment forward. "She paved a path for a conversation that’s happening now. She was at the pillar of a shift that had to happen so that we could get here now," she continued. "I hope she knows her value in that, and that the things that happened to her, the harrowing things that she went through, she helped us on our journey to a better place."
Other women portrayed in the series haven't sued like Luhn, but not many have been able to say much at all. Gretchen Carlson, who is played by Naomi Watts in the show and sued Ailes for sexual harassment in 2016, wasn't able to participate in The Loudest Voice after a settlement agreement prevented her from discussing her allegations in-depth, per Huffington Post. But she was able to tell the outlet that she supported its production in some way.
"Any time, again, that we can bring [sexual harassment] to the national or international scene, I think that it’s positive," she said. "I think a lot of women and men are going to be having conversations after they watch The Loudest Voice and they’re going to probably decide to come forward for the first time. So from that perspective, I think that it’s a great project."
So, while the women who are portrayed in the series might not always share the same feelings about The Loudest Voice, at least one of them thinks it's worth a watch.