Fox News reaches settlement for Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit: ‘We sincerely regret and apologize’

Fox News

21st Century Fox, parent of Fox News, has confirmed it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against former network president Roger Ailes.

The network also issued an apology for Carlson’s treatment while employed under Ailes: “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, a former Fox News anchor, drew up the lawsuit against Ailes two months ago. She claimed she was wrongfully terminated from her job at the channel for refusing sexual advances from Ailes, her then boss. Carlson had been with the network for 11 years when her contract was suddenly terminated.

According to the complaint, the Fox News executive “unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”

Shortly after Carlson made the allegations against Ailes, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reportedly told investigators she experienced similar sexual harassment from Ailes. Carlson’s legal team said more than 20 women came forward accusing Ailes of sexual harassment in the weeks following her public calling out of the Fox boss, the Guardian reported. Pressure mounted on the network to make a decision on Ailes’ future at Fox.

In July, just weeks after the lawsuit was drawn up, Ailes resigned from his role as chairman and chief executive of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and his role as chairman of Fox Television Stations. Rupert Murdoch assumed the role of chairman and acting chief executive of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, the company said.

In an attempt to put the lawsuit to bed while the US is undergoing a huge political race, 21st Century Fox has settled the lawsuit on behalf of Ailes.

Carlson has voluntarily dropped the lawsuit against Ailes, Reuters reported, and will not bring up any new suits against the company or any of its employees.

Vanity Fair reported the settlement to be valued at $20m.

In a statement from the network, Carlson said: "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."

The network’s full statement reads: "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."

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