Fox News will pay $20 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson against the network's ousted chief Roger Ailes. Lisa Bernhard reports.
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson getting $20 million dollars to settle a sexual harassment suit she brought against her old boss, ousted network honcho Roger Ailes. Although the lone defendant, it is parent company 21st Century Fox - and not Ailes - who will pony up - a source telling Reuters Ailes' contract indemnified him from employment-related claims. FOX also going the extra step of issuing Carlson a public apology, saying, "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." Reuters editor, Eric Effron, says this symbolizes just how far apart Ailes and his former network have grown: (SOUNDBITE) ERIC EFFRON, REUTERS EDITOR, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Roger Ailes was fighting the lawsuit, making very strong denials. The company settled the lawsuit and apologized. So that suggests a big rift between Roger Ailes, who for man many tears WAS Fox News - personified it, created it - so that's a very interesting development. It kind of puts an exclamation mark on how this has come down in terms of this ending Roger Ailes' career, certainly his career at Fox News." While Carlson's $20 million payout may seem steep, Ailes himself received $40 million in severance pay when fired from Fox News - sparking outcry from those who felt Carlson's claims - along with those made by several other women since - should have had him exiting with nothing. (SOUNDBITE) ERIC EFFRON, REUTERS EDITOR, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "So, there is that contrast, and there's a certain symmetry since its forty and twenty. But, I think, if you get $20 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit and an apology, I would say that's a win." Ailes, too, now feeling litigious - threatening to sue New York Magazine, which has reported extensively on his alleged harassment issues, often providing lurid details. Ailes attorney of choice: Charles Harder - who helped Hulk Hogan win his defamation suit against website Gawker - and is also handling a libel case against The Daily Mail for Melania Trump - wife of Donald - who Ailes is advising on his presidential run. And in a final bit of Fox News news, 'On the Record' host Greta Van Susteren announced Tuesday she will be leaving the network after 14 years, saying on Facebook, "Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now."