Gretchen Carlson Case: Former Fox Newswoman Gets Public Apology And Huge Payday

The Gretchen Carlson case which courted national headlines, accusing former chairman Roger Ailes of sexually harassing a former anchorwoman, has been settled out of court, BBC News is reporting that 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, revealed on Tuesday that a settlement had been reached with Carlson, who accused Ailes of demoting her after she rejected his sexual advances. Unconfirmed reports say the settlement was over $20 million.

The Gretchen Carlson case was filed in court on July 6, after months of Ms. Carlson recording her sexually provocative meetings with her married boss on her iPhone. According to the NY Daily News, Gretchen had over 10 incidents on tape where Mr. Ailes had asked for sexual favors in return for career opportunities.

Officials at the corporation had deemed the recordings damaging and worked quickly to reach a deal in mid-August. According to inside sources, part of the terms of the settlement was for Ms. Carlson to sign a confidentiality agreement and agree to never divulge the details of the recordings. Roger Ailes had denied allegations brought against him in the Gretchen Carlson case, calling them “false” and “offensive.”

Ailes was pushed out of his post several weeks later with a $40 million severance pay, after investigators from the law firm Paul Weiss, Wharton and Garrison met with Gretchen’s lawyers and saw the evidence being held over his head. The law firm uncovered 20 women with similar stories and at the time of this report worked out settlement deals with at least two other women who accused the 76-year-old of improper conduct. Twenty-first Century Fox tendered a public apology after an agreement was reached in the Gretchen Carlson case.

“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.”

The Gretchen Carlson case centered on a lawsuit filed against 21st Century Fox run by Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan, and not against Roger Ailes. Sources are saying that the former Fox News CEO and chairman would be responsible for paying part of the money, but his lawyer, Susan Estrich, revealed her client was not contributing in any way to the settlement.

Ms. Carlson, 50, had co-hosted the Fox and Friends morning show before being given her own show, The Real Story, in 2013. According to Ailes, the show was axed due to low ratings, but Nielsen data showed the program easily outpaced its direct competitors at CNN and MSNBC. The former Miss America expressed satisfaction at the verdict and revealed it was time to put the Gretchen Carlson case behind her.

“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.”

Carlson, who joined Fox News after a stint at CBS in 2005, said her main focus was protecting her two children, an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, from the furor. She expressed gratitude to the people who stood with her at the time she filed her suit.

“I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country that 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.”

The settlement may have brought quick closure to a scandal that might have severely damaged the company, but it seems like Roger Ailes, who has been relatively quiet during the Gretchen Carlson case, is about to kick things up a notch.

The former media man, who worked for the Fox conglomerate for 20-years, acquired the services of Charles Harder, a lawyer who got Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, a $140 million settlement from Gawker Media. Roger Ailes is looking to file charges in the aftermath of the Gretchen Carlson case against the magazine that detailed his downfall in a scathing cover article Friday.

[Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF]

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