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What Gretchen Carlson settlement means for future sexual harassment lawsuits, 21st Century

by AirTalk®

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Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage. The former Fox co-host will be paid $20 million by Fox to settle her sexual harassment suit against Roger Ailes. Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety

Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the case that led to the downfall of Fox’s chief executive with stunning swiftness this summer.

In a statement Tuesday, Fox parent company 21st Century said that “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 someone familiar with the confidential settlement who spoke under condition of anonymity. Carlson alleged that she was demoted and let go from Fox after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances and complained about workplace harassment. Ailes denied the charges, but 21st Century launched an investigation and Ailes resigned after other women made allegations.

In a statement, Carlson said she was ready to move on to the next chapter in her life, and plans to help 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,” she said.

Why is Fox paying for a lawsuit Carlson filed against Roger Ailes? And does this settlement make the company more vulnerable in other pending lawsuits?

With files from AP


Camille Hebert, professor of law at the Ohio State Moritz College of Law

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