The parent company of Fox News said Tuesday that it had settled a lawsuit with its former anchor Gretchen Carlson, who said that Roger Ailes had sexually harassed her when he was chairman of the network.
A 21st Century Fox Corp. news release did not specify a settlement amount but a person briefed on the settlement said that it amounted to $20 million, and that Ailes was responsible for a portion of the payment. The person also said Fox News was in settlement talks with other women at the network.
Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox also issued an apology to Carlson, an Anoka native who charged Ailes with sabotaging her career after she rebuffed sexual advances and complained about a hostile work environment. Her contract was not renewed in June after 11 years at Fox News Channel.
The settlement with Carlson was announced in a statement from 21st Century Fox which included a full apology.
"21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit," the company said. "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."
Carlson said in a statement: "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. 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."
Since the allegations by Carlson became public — she filed a suit in a New Jersey Superior Court on July 6 — reports have emerged of other women who have worked with the executive in the past also saying that he sought sexual favors in return for employment opportunities. Ailes has denied those incidents as well.
Ailes resigned on July 21, leaving the influential news division he founded with a $20 million severance package. Ailes was also indemnified by the company for any damages from the lawsuit.
Attorneys for Carlson had said they had been contacted by as many as 20 women who said they were subjected to inappropriate behavior by Ailes.
Additionally, Fox News abruptly announced — just minutes after 21st Century Fox confirmed the settlement with Carlson — the departure of Greta Van Susteren, one of the network's most recognizable talents. Van Susteren had been with Fox News for 14 years, and it appears her departure is effective immediately: Brit Hume will take over her 7 p.m. time slot, beginning Tuesday night.
In a statement, Hume said, "I am happy to take on this assignment for the balance of this extraordinary election."
Fox News' co-presidents, Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, said in a statement, "We are grateful for Greta's many contributions over the years and wish her continued success."
No statement was provided by Van Susteren, who was a vocal defender of Ailes when sexual harassment charges were first filed against the former Fox News chairman. A person close to the situation who is not authorized to comment said her abrupt exit was due to a "financial disagreement."
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.