Fox Pays Gretchen Carlson $20 Million as Restitution for the Sins of Sexual Predator Roger Ailes, Former CEO of Fox News
Fox News chief Roger Ailes has been ousted from the right-wing network he co-founded twenty years ago, after charges of sexual misconduct.
On July 6, 2016, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, alleging that she was fired for rebuffing Ailes’ sexual advances.
Ailes denied the charges, saying that Carlson’s lawsuit was in retaliation for the network’s decision not to renew her contract.
However, Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, has now agreed, on Ailes behalf, to settle Carlson’s suit for a stunning $20 million. The company also offered Carlson a public apology as part of the settlement. “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,” the statement said. (The company has also, reportedly, reached settlement agreements with two other women.)
Stories of misconduct at Fox News have circulated since Ailes’ biographer Gabriel Sherman alleged in a 2014 book that Ailes offered a television producer a raise if she would sleep with him. Fox News initially denied the allegation and questioned the authenticity of Sherman’s book.
However, Ailes’ paranoia seemed to increase around the time Sherman’s book was published. According to one report, Ailes hung a wooden door to block the view into his office suite and recorded anyone who entered. Ailes also kept two handguns, a Glock and a Smith & Wesson, in his office. (The guns were discovered by 21st Century Fox after Ailes’ ouster.)
The sexual harassment claims against Ailes have only grown worse in the month since Gretchen Carlson filed suit against the 76-year-old media boss. The list of Ailes’ public and private accusers has grown to more than twenty.
New York magazine reported that Megyn Kelly told investigators that Ailes made “unwanted sexual advances toward her” at the start of her career. The magazine also reported that media titan Rupert Murdoch had given Ailes an ultimatum to resign or be fired.
Following Ailes’ resignation, Fox’s Andrea Tantaros claimed in August 2016 that Ailes asked her to twirl for him, requested she hug him and made comments about her body. After she complained, she said she was demoted and taken off the air. She remains on Fox’s payroll.
Kellie Boyle, a former Republican National Committee field adviser, told New York magazine that Ailes propositioned her in 1989 shortly after he’d helped George H.W. Bush win the presidency. “You know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys,” Ailes allegedly told Boyle, who was 29 and married at the time.