Report: Fox News Settles With Gretchen Carlson for $20 Million Over Ailes Lawsuit
Carlson claims Ailes fired her after she complained about a hostile work environment and refused to sleep with him.
In July, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the company’s former CEO. She claimed he fired her after “she complained about a hostile working environment” and refused to sleep with Ailes.
Ailes denied the allegations, but today Fox News settled with Carlson for $20 million. Vanity Fair also reports that the company will “offer Carlson a public apology as part of the settlement.”
From Vanity Fair:
Though Carlson’s case is against Ailes personally, Fox is essentially his insurer for any settlement, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and discussions between Ailes’s legal team and 21st Century Fox’s legal team became very tense regarding how much Ailes might pay in a settlement. (At press time, it was unclear how much Ailes was personally on the hook for.) As part of the language at the end of the settlement, numerous people with knowledge of the deal told me, Carlson has agreed not to bring any further legal action against other executives at Fox News, or against the company itself.
The settlement punctuates an important chapter in the Ailes scandal. While the Paul, Weiss investigation interviewed more than 20 women, according to two sources familiar with the process, it never officially expanded to examine the broader culture of Fox News. The firm, according to numerous people familiar with the process, was apparently never ordered to scour the company’s hard drives for all evidence of sexual harassment or bawdy culture. In some ways, according to one person familiar with the process, the Paul, Weiss investigation simply got a revenue machine back on track.
From Gretchen Carlson's suit against Roger Ailes: pic.twitter.com/42GscBE2TP
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) July 6, 2016
Carlson said her former Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy made “a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live broadcast.”
The suit also states that “Doocy yanked Carlson’s arm down to silence her during a live telecast” and even “mocked her during commercial breaks.” She said Doocy “refused to engage with her on the program.”
Ailes allegedly called her a “manhater” and “killer” when he heard about her complaints. In retaliation, the network did not give her lucrative assignments and pulled her weekly appearance on The O’Reilly Factor. They gave her the show “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson,” but she believes lowered her profile at Fox News.
In late August, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit against Fox News for sexual harassment. As Kemberlee reported, she accused “former Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly, and former Senator Scott Brown of making unwanted advances.” From Buzzfeed:
In the lawsuit, Tantaros’s attorney Judd Burstein describes Fox News as a “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny” and describes Ailes as a “sexual predator” who “did not act alone.” Tantaros alleges Ailes retaliated against her for rebuffing his advances by removing her from The Five and ordering the Fox News media relations department to turn against her.
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A man who is rich and powerful can get away with raunchy behavior until he reaches a certain age. Then, he’d better stop, or there will be public humiliation. Unfortunately, a lot of men also seem to lose their filters or their ability to see what is in the mirror.
I know we’re not supposed to question the victim, even when they are collecting 20 large, but I’ve seen a lot of ‘alleged’ in this story and an extremely small amount of ‘verified’ or even ‘video.’ Particularly when the incident with Doocy touching her on the arm is reported twice, and falls within the body language category of “Hey, you’re going long on this segment and we have a commercial coming up” of live TV.
(Admittedly, I did not watch this segment of video, but I never in my life have had a woman demand a million dollars from me because I touched them on the elbow either)
Reminds me of the old “Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?” joke.
It looks like the pendulum has swung the other way on sexual harassment. That’s going to hurt women a lot more than men. Men are going to be afraid of coming within 30 feet of a woman. In fact, I hear that all the time, already.