“Federal authorities have interviewed current and former Fox News employees and on-air talent in a widening inquiry into the nature of sexual-harassment settlements and alleged intimidation tactics at the network, according to people familiar with the probe,” the Wall St. Journal (WSJ) reports. [Many WSJ articles are behind a subscription pay wall, and you may be asked to pay to read the piece.]
Both Fox News and the WSJ are owned and controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family.
In the report, written by Joe Flint and Michael Rothfeld, the Journal adds, “U.S. investigators have focused on how settlement payments over sexual-harassment accusations were structured at Fox News and which executives helped engineer them, people familiar with the matter said. But in their questioning, prosecutors also have shown an interest in alleged intimidation tactics authorized by [former Fox News CEO Roger] Ailes, including the hiring of a private investigator to dig up negative information on women who complained, according to one of the people familiar with the probe.”
The story also notes that investigators have spoken to a number of women who accused Ailes of sexual harassment. According to the story, one of those women was Laurie Luhn, former director of corporate and special events. She “received a $3.15 million settlement from the company in 2011,” the story notes.
The article says, “In an interview with the Journal, Ms. Luhn said Mr. Ailes harassed her and subjected her to ‘psychological torture’ for years. She said [Bill Shine, a top lieutenant of Ailes’ at the time] took steps to keep her from talking to the press, moving her between hotel rooms and at one point calling her father to arrange her placement in a psychiatric-care facility in Texas against her wishes…”
Ailes has denied all claims of sexual harassment. Shine has said he was trying to help Luhn, the Journal writes. As of last Monday Shine was no longer working at Fox News.
To read a lot more detail about this story, click here, which will take you the WSJ story. [Though please note: many WSJ articles are behind a subscription pay wall, and you may be asked to pay to read the piece.]