Fox settles Carlson's sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes for $20M

Twenty-First Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News Channel, apologized Tuesday to Gretchen Carlson as it agreed to pay $20 million to the former Fox broadcaster to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, according to a person briefed on the settlement terms.

The person requested anonymity because the settlement terms aren't being revealed publicly.

"During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism," the company said in a statement. "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.”

In a statement, Carlson said she was "gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action"  after she filed her 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," she said.

"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," Carlson said, referring to a Twitter campaign she started. "All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded.”

In early July, Carlson filed her lawsuit against Ailes, saying her contract wasn't renewed after she “refused to sleep” with the founder of Fox News and reported "severe and pervasive sexual harassment” at her workplace. Fox was not named as a defendant, but has worked with Ailes' lawyers as settlement talks surfaced.

After an internal investigation by 21st Century Fox, Ailes left the company in late July with a $40 million settlement. He has denied Carlson's allegations. Ailes' lawyer, Susan Estrich, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Since her lawsuit, other women have come forward with their allegations about sexual harassment from Ailes. In late August, Andrea Tantaros, a Fox News broadcaster, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News, former CEO Roger Ailes and other Fox executives and said the news network "operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny."

It wasn't immediately clear what percentage of the settlement sum to Carlson is personally paid by Ailes. But he will contribute to the total, according to the person briefed on the settlement terms.

Twenty-First Century Fox is also in talks to settle sexual harassment claims from other women, the person said.

Follow USA TODAY media reporter Roger Yu on Twitter @ByRogerYu.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment