Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has acknowledged for the first time publicly that he's gay.

In an interview with The Huffington Post published Monday, Smith, 52, denied rumors that former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes prohibited him from coming out.

“That's not true,” Smith said. “He was as nice as he could be to me. 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 that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal and very scarring and horrifying.”

Smith also denied that Alies was anti-gay around him.

“He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith says. “I wasn’t new in the business when I came [to Fox News] – 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 also said that Ailes, who recently resigned over allegations of sexual harassment, was “very fatherly and mentorish” to him.