Carl­son, Fox set­tle harassment law­suit

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By David Bauder — Associated Press

NEW YORK — For­mer Fox News anchor Gretchen Carl­son set­tled her sex­ual harassment law­suit against Roger Ailes for a re­ported $20 mil­lion and a pub­lic apol­ogy Tues­day, end­ing the case that trig­gered the down­fall of the ca­ble chan­nel’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Carl­son al­leged in a law­suit filed two months ago that she was de­moted and let go at Fox be­cause she re­jected Ailes’ sex­ual ad­vances and com­plained about work­place harassment.

In a state­ment, Fox par­ent com­pany 21st Cen­tury Fox said: “We 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 was paid $20 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the set­tle­ment who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the terms were con­fi­den­tial.

Ailes did not pay any of the set­tle­ment, said his lawyer, Su­san Estrich.

Carl­son said she is ready to move on to the next chap­ter in her life and promised to work to help women in the work­place. She thanked “all the brave women” who came for­ward to tell their own sto­ries and oth­ers who sup­ported her.

“All women de­serve a dig­ni­fied and re­spect­ful work­place,” she said.

Ailes, 76, de­nied Carl­son’s al­le­ga­tions when the law­suit was filed. He had no comment Tues­day.

Carl­son, a for­mer Miss Amer­ica, worked for sev­eral years on the “Fox & Friends” morn­ing show, then was switched to a less-vis­i­ble af­ter­noon time slot in 2013. She was told in June that her con­tract would not be re­newed.

Carl­son al­leged that Ailes For­mer Fox anchor Gretchen Carl­son ac­cused Roger Ailes of sex­ual harassment. told her in a meet­ing, “You and I should have had a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship a long time ago.”

She said he ogled her, re­peat­edly com­mented about her legs and urged her to wear clothes that en­hanced her figure.

New York mag­a­zine re­ported last week that Carl­son be­gan tak­ing her iPhone into meet­ings with Ailes in 2014 and se­cretly record­ing their con­ver­sa­tions.

Carl­son’s case led 21st Cen­tury Fox to launch its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and other women came for­ward with sto­ries of be­ing sex­u­ally ha­rassed by Ailes, in­clud­ing Fox News star Megyn Kelly. A few women told their sto­ries pub­licly.

Two weeks af­ter Carl­son sued, Ailes was gone, re­port­edly with a $40 mil­lion pay­out. He is said to be in­for­mally ad­vis­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump.

At least two other women who spoke to in­ves­ti­ga­tors have reached set­tle­ments with 21st Cen­tury Fox in re­turn for a prom­ise not to sue, ac­cord­ing to the per­son fa­mil­iar with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

An­other for­mer Fox per­son­al­ity, An­drea Tan­taros, has filed a harassment law­suit against the net­work. Fox

Van Sus­teren out af­ter 14 years

NEW YORK — Greta Van Sus­teren has abruptly quit af­ter 14 years as a prime-time anchor at Fox News Chan­nel, say­ing that Fox “has not felt like home to me for a few years.”

She’s be­ing tem­po­rar­ily re­placed by Fox veteran Brit Hume, at least through the elec­tion.

Word of the sur­prise shake-up in what has been ca­ble TV news’ most sta­ble and suc­cess­ful lineup was an­nounced only minutes af­ter the set­tle­ment of for­mer Fox anchor Gretchen Carl­son’s harassment law­suit against de­posed Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Fox did not ex­plain Van Sus­teren’s exit, al­though a per­son close to the sit­u­a­tion who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity de­scribed it as a fi­nan­cial dis­agree­ment.

Van Sus­teren, who came to Fox from CNN af­ter es­tab­lish­ing her­self among the com­men­ta­tors on the O.J. Simp­son trial, said on Face­book that she hoped to con­tinue her ca­reer in broad­cast­ing. is fight­ing that case and has de­scribed Tan­taros as an “op­por­tunist” in court pa­pers.

Carl To­bias, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Rich­mond School of Law, said the Carl­son case could have a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the work­place as a de­ter­rent against harassment and would make em­ploy­ers take such com­plaints from em­ploy­ees more se­ri­ously.

Ailes was hired by Ru­pert Mur­doch to cre­ate Fox News from scratch in 1996. He built it into a dom­i­nant news net­work.

NOAM GALAI/GETTY

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