After eleven years with Fox News, Gretchen Carlson was quietly let go back in June. Just weeks later we found out what was allegedly behind that suspicious exit when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes on July 6th. Other (such as Megyn Kelly) and former (Andrea Tantaros) Fox personalities also came forward with similar stories of sexual harassment. Some other Fox personalities fought back (including Neil Cavuto, Greta Van Susteren, Sandra Smith, and Maria Bartiromo), but Ailes still resigned not long after, with Rupert Murdoch taking over as CEO.
Exactly two months after the lawsuit was filed, a decision was reached today.
Via Business Insider
Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson settled her sexual-harassment lawsuit against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, 21st Century Fox announced Tuesday morning. According to Vanity Fair, the two parties reached an agreement to settle for $20 million.
As part of the agreement, Carlson agreed not to bring further lawsuits against other network executives, the report said.21st Century Fox also issued a public apology to Carlson. “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism,” a company statement said. It continued: “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 said in a statement that she was “gratified” by the “decisive action” 21st Century Fox took. “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. All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace.”
Vanity Fair reported that people familiar with the agreement said the network would act as an insurer for Ailes, most likely paying out the settlement.
Gretchen posted the following message to her Facebook after the news was made public.
Settling out of court doesn’t necessarily mean the party settling is guilty, and corporations settle dubious sexual harassment lawsuits all the time because it’s often cheaper than taking a court to trial and winning. However, in this case there’s an obvious admission of guilt in 21st Century Fox’s public apology to Carlson.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]