Fox News settles with Gretchen Carlson; Van Susteren exits

After two months of turmoil which culminated in the departure of long-time chairman Roger Ailes on July 21, Fox News agreed to pay former host Gretchen Carlson an eye-popping $20 million settlement to resolve her sexual harassment litigation against the cable news giant’s ex-CEO.

According to court documents revealed Tuesday, Carlson voluntarily withdrew her complaint.

Fox News was not a target of Carlson’s lawsuit.

Accompanying Fox’s settlement terms was a public apology to the former Miss America and 11-year-veteran journalist:

“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.  During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism,” read the Fox News statement.

In an unrelated development, Fox News announced On the Record host, Greta Van Susteren, has left the network.  According to sources with knowledge of Van Susteren’s departure, the former criminal defense and legal expert opted to depart the cable organization after invoking a clause in her contract allowing her to leave should Ailes step down from the network.

Van Susteren, a 14-year Fox News veteran, had previously defended Ailes over the allegations

For her part, Carlson said she is “gratified” of Fox’s decision to remove Ailes and is “ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace,” she said in a statement. “I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories . . . All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded.”

 

[New York Daily News] [CNBC]