A new report indicates that audio tapes exist of conversations between former Fox News chief Roger Ailes and multiple women that could go public if Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes goes to court. The report by Vanity Fair, which cites two sources who are familiar with the tapes, suggests that their existence is pushing Fox News’ parent company toward settling the case.
“21st Century Fox has begun discussing a settlement in the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Ailes, according to two people familiar with the negotiations,” Vanity Fair reports. “The company is requesting that Ailes, who has denied all Carlson’s allegations, fund at least a portion of the settlement, which is expected to reach eight figures, these people said.”
The report quotes one of the unnamed sources saying: “If they litigate the case, all the tapes will become public, directly and through others. Then you will have a parade of women come in. Nobody wants that.”
Ailes reportedly received $40 million as part of his agreement to leave the network. His reps have strongly denied that he did anything wrong.
The latest developments come as another Fox News host, Andrea Tantaros, has come forward with allegations that she complained repeatedly to senior executives about alleged inappropriate sexual behavior toward her by Ailes.