21st Century Fox said it settled the sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.
The settlement pays Carlson $20 million, according to Vanity Fair, which cites three sources in its story.
The suit led to the departure of Ailes, one of the most powerful men in television news, who built Fox News from scratch into the top-rated cable news channel.
Since the suit was filed other women have come forward with charges against Fox News and Ailes, who denied the charges.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
After Carlson filed her suit, 21st Century Fox hired a law firm to investigate the charges.
In a statement, the company said “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.”
Since the suit was filed, there have been other allegations about the way Fox News was run, with settlements paid to other women and investigations into the behavior of Fox News staffers and reporters who cover the company.
A long story on Ailes and Fox News was published Friday by New York magazine.
After the story was published, there were reports that Ailes was considering legal action against the magazine and reporter Gabriel Sherman and would hire Charles Harder, the attorney who sued Gawker on behalf of the wrestler better known as Hulk Hogan.
Carlson filed her suit against onl Roger Ailes in order to avoid triggering an arbitration clause in her employment contract with Fox News. Vanity Fair reports that as part of the settlement, Carlson has agreed not to bring further legal action against other Fox News executives, or against 21st Century Fox. The magazine also says it is unclear how much of the settlement Ailes will be responsible for paying.
Ailes reportedly received a $60 million payment to settle his contract with 21st Century Fox.