A settlement has been reached between Fox News and former anchor Gretchen Carlson, who sued the network and its then chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.
Vanity Fair first reported the settlement this morning. The report cites three sources saying the network settled for $20 million.
FNC owner 21st Century Fox issued a statement this morning saying:
“21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit. 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.”
Carlson issued the following statement:
“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. 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.”
Carlson’s lawsuit prompted the departure of Ailes from the network he co-founded 20 years ago. Writing in Vanity Fair, Sarah Ellison notes that the settlement follows a cover story Friday in New York magazine by Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman, who has broken key elements in the saga of Ailes’ downfall. Sherman’s story ran under the headline “The Revenge of Roger’s Angels: How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media.”
Ellison notes that Ailes’ “apparent paranoia increased around the time that Sherman began reporting his unauthorized biography, which was published in early 2014.”
Ellison adds: “According to a person close to Ailes, he hung a wooden door, now dismantled, that obscured any view into his office suite; according to numerous people, he also recorded anyone who entered. Ailes kept guns in the office (a Glock and Smith & Wesson were discovered by 21st Century Fox after his ouster). Carlson and others, including former Fox News booker Laurie Luhn, also detailed Ailes’s alleged harassment, much of it outlined by Sherman in his coverage.”
Please click on the links in this story to Vanity Fair and New York magazine for in-depth analysis of the story.