Gretchen Carlson’s harassment claims were dismissed. Now she’s getting $20m
In July Ailes said the allegations were ‘without merit’
The parent company of Fox News has just agreed a settlement of $20 million with former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
Carlson sued the channel’s longtime boss Roger Ailes for sexual harassment in July, which prompted him to leave the network.
It is one of the biggest settlements paid by a company for harassment in recent years.
When Carlson first launched her suit, Ailes dismissed her claims as retaliation:
“This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup,” he said. “When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit.”
But Carlson’s move apparently prompted other women who have worked for the company to come forward with similar allegations. New York Magazine, which has led the reporting of the Ailes story, headlined their story last week: “The Revenge of Roger’s Angels: How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media.” A lawyer for Ailes has hinted he may sue the magazine.
Today 21st Century Fox issued an apology expressing their regret that Carlson was “not treated with the respect and dignity” she deserved. Today the corporation also announced that Greta Van Susteren, a long-time anchor, would be leaving the company.
In a statement today, Carlson said: “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.”