LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On social media, on talk shows…more and more women are speaking out about sexual harassment and sexual assault.
A former LA news anchor says she knows exactly why so many remained silent in the past.
Karla Amezola was fired from her job about a year ago. She decided, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and more women speaking out, this would be a good time to tell her story.
“It’s difficult to talk about this on camera,” she said, wiping away tears.
Being on camera was her job. She was a popular, Emmy-winning anchor and reporter at the Spanish-language station Estrella TV until March 2016. That is when she says she was fired for filing a complaint about sexual harassment.
While she was on the job, Karla says the harassment continued for three years.
She said it started with inappropriate comments from the news vice president.
“He was my boss. And over the years, he sexually harassed me. [He wanted] exchange work for sexual favors.”
“I was so tired of fighting with him, defending or trying to defend my own rights he retaliated against my work every time I said no,” she says.
Eventually, Karla told Kim she was taken off the anchor desk and denied special assignments. She had had enough — so she took recordings she made of the alleged harassment and gathered witnesses and went to HR.
“After some months, they fired me and he resigned the same day.” she said.
Karla says she was told her work wasn’t good enough. As she dealt with being fired, she knew she still had to make a living…
“It was difficult but I had to do something, I had to work,” she says.
These days, you’ll find Karla behind the wheel, driving for Uber and Lyft and also writing for a Spanish newspaper. She’s not ashamed to tell her story. She hopes it will help encourage more women to come forward.
“It’s like an opportunity to change things, women are talking and we have to listen to them,” she said.
As for her anchoring and reporting career, Karla says don’t count her out just yet.
“I will come back at some point,” she said, “I know that because, I love to be a journalist.”
Karla has filed a lawsuit against Liberman Broadcasting, Estrella TV’s parent company, for allegedly not stopping her harassment and for wrongful termination.
Kim asked for a comment but did not hear back.