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Fox Settles Other Sexual Harassment Claims Against Ailes

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By George Khoury, Esq. on September 08, 2016 2:09 PM

On Tuesday, CNN reported that 21st Century Fox (Fox News) will pay Gretchen Carlson $20,000,000 in settlement for the sexual harassment and retaliation she suffered at the hands of Roger Ailes. While the large dollar amount Fox paid may shock many, legal professionals are more shocked about the public apology 21st Century Fox made Tuesday morning. Also, CNN reported other victims of Ailes agreed to settle their claims.

It is exceedingly rare that a single plaintiff sexual harassment suit gets an eight figure settlement, and even rarer to see a defendant issue a public apology to the plaintiff. While Ailes denies the allegations, an award that large speaks volumes, and the apology amplifies that a hundred fold.

Fox Settled Claims With Other Victims

Gretchen Carlson, an on-air personality, had alleged that Roger Ailes sexually harassed her and retaliated against her by sabotaging her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about the harassment. She filed her lawsuit on July 6, and after Fox's internal investigation where numerous other women were interviewed, this settlement was reached.

After Gretchen Carlson filed suit, other women came forward and did the same. In addition to Gretchen Carlson's settlement, CNN reported that only a "handful" of other women received settlements on their claims against Ailes for harassment. CNN points out that the other settlements were not as large.

Foxes Don't Roll Over

Fox is not just rolling over. One plaintiff, ex-host Andrea Tantaros, is facing an uphill battle against Fox as they deny her claims of harassment, stating that she is an opportunist who never actually complained of harassment. Despite Fox's adamant denial, when a defendant issues a public apology, it might be time to read between the lines.

Lastly, the amount Gretchen Carlson received is much less impressive when you consider the relative wealth of 21st Century Fox and the Murdoch family, as well as how well national TV personalities, if popular, can be paid. Considering Forbes values Fox at $11.2 billion, the $20 million settlement is barely a drop in the bucket.

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