Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has settled her sexual harassment suit against ousted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, with 21st Century Fox paying what some estimate is an eight-figure sum.
Carlson had filed suit against Aliles in July, alleging he had repeatedly made sexual advances to her during her career at the channel, and fired her in June because she refused to sleep with him. While Ailes denied the charges, several other women have come forward since Carlson’s suit making similar allegations. Ailes resigned later that month after Fox conducted an internal investigation into the matter.
According to people familiar with the settlement, Fox will foot the entire bill. Ailes reportedly walked away from Fox with about $40 million when he resigned, essentially the remainder of his employment deal with the company, which was set to expire in 2018.
Carlson sued Ailes in part to avoid an arbitration clause in her contract with Fox, according to several reports. Ailes’s lawyers tried to have the case dismissed initially because they believed it violated that clause, but those efforts have obviously been abandoned.
“21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit,” the company said in a statement. “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
According to Vanity Fair, citing people familiar with the matter, 21st Century Fox will pay Carlson $20 million in the settlement. The NewYork Times also reported Tuesday that Fox is in settlement talks with other women at the network.
"I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my Complaint. 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," Carlson said in a statement. "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. All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded."