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Fox News Pays Gretchen Carlson $20M to Settle Roger Ailes Harassment Suit

Gretchen Carlson has received an apology and $20 million to settle her  lawsuit charging ex-Fox CEO Roger Ailes (inset), with sexual harassment. (Photo: Getty)

Gretchen Carlson has received an apology and $20 million to settle her lawsuit charging ex-Fox CEO Roger Ailes (inset), with sexual harassment. (Photo: Getty)

Gretchen Carlson has forced her former employer, Fox News, to issue a groveling apology and pay her $20 million to settle her lawsuit charging former Fox honcho Roger Ailes with sexual harassment. At least 20 female staffers have complained about the “locker room” atmosphere at the network.

In another potentially shocking development, Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren is leaving the cable news channel, effective immediately, according to The Washington Post.

Van Susteren gave no reason for her suden departure. Se had publicly defended Ailes after Carlson filed her suit. Backing the wrong horse, maybe?

Lachlan and James Murdoch, sons of 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, may have been the architects of the lawsuit capitulation, according to The Post.

The chairman and chief executive, respectively, of 21st Century Fox, have battled Ailes over the network’s direction and are said to have disliked him intensely.

That may also explain why parent company, 21st Century Fox issued the apology today.

In its letter, 21st Century Fox stated:

“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 her colleagues deserve. We know Gretchen will be successful in whatever endeavors she chooses in the future.”

Carlson also released a statement:

“I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my complaint. I’m ready to move on the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace. I want to thank all of the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me. . . . All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace.”

Brit Hume will replace Van Susteren in her 7 p.m. time slot, starting Tuesday night, the network announced.

Carlson, 50 was a co-host on the popular “Fox and Friends,” show until she was demoted and dropped by the network earlier this year.

In July, she filed a lawsuit detailing a “culture of harassment” at Fox. Ailes not only set the tone for the hostile environment, but engaged in harassment himself, according to her suit.

The question now is where does the settlement leave other complaints pending against the network. Former Fox host, Andrea Tantaros, filed suit against Ailes last month on essentially the same grounds.

Tantaros charged Ailes also harassed and demoted her when she rebuffed his sexual advances. At least 20 other women have also come forward, accusing Ailes of similar treatment during his network career.

Tantaros called Fox News a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult.”

Ailes helped co-found the network in 1996 and drove it to prominence with a steady diet of right-leaning news and commentary.

Since his ouster, Ailes’s been hired by Donald Trump to oversee the Republican candidate’s media strategy. Trump has also been accused of sexually harassing women who worked for him over the years.

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