CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Fox News, Gretchen Carlson Settling Lawsuit

 

NEW YORK, New York – 21st Century Fox has reached a $20 million settlement deal with Gretchen Carlson, the anchorwoman who sued Roger Ailes alleging harassment and retaliation in July.

The eight-figure deal is likely to have consequences across corporate America. Fox also apologized to Carlson in a highly unusual public statement on Tuesday morning.

“We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect that she and all our colleagues deserve,” 21st Century Fox said.

Vanity Fair magazine was the first to report the settlement on Tuesday. A source close to Fox confirmed the $20 million total to CNNMoney.

Ailes will pay an unknown portion of the settlement.

Ailes, the powerful Fox News CEO and chairman, resigned in the wake of the harassment allegations, which he has continuously denied.

Now out of his Fox job, Ailes is informally advising GOP nominee Donald Trump ahead of the presidential debates this fall.

Lawyers for Ailes had no immediate comment on the Carlson settlement.

According to Vanity Fair, Fox has also reached settlements with two other women who alleged harassment by the executive.

After Carlson sued, 21st Century Fox — which is run by Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan — brought in an outside law firm to investigate the allegations.

More than 20 women reportedly spoke with the lawyers about inappropriate behavior by Ailes.

Ex-host Andrea Tantaros filed suit against Ailes and Fox last month. It is unclear whether Fox is vulnerable to any other lawsuits at the present time.

Settling with Carlson, at least, is part of the Murdochs’ effort to move past the scandal.

The settlement means that Carlson will not testify against Ailes or share any evidence of harassment. Several news outlets have reported that Carlson recorded some of her meetings with Ailes.

“I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my complaint,” Carlson said Tuesday. “I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace.”

She also expressed thanks to the people who supported her when she filed the suit.

“I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me in their #StandWithGretchen,” she said. “All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded.”

Separately, Fox News announced the departure of 7 p.m. host Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday morning. Van Susteren reportedly tried to renegotiate her contract after Ailes resigned, and opted to leave when the negotiations failed.