UPDATE: Roger Ailes’ attorney, Susan Estrich, told CNBC that the former Fox News CEO is not contributing money to Gretchen Carlson’s settlement payout. 21st Century Fox reportedly confirmed that detail.
Two months after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss Roger Ailes, 21st Century Fox announced it had settled the claims and made a rare, public apology.
“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,” Fox said in its statement. The company added that Carlson “exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism” and lauded her for building a large fanbase. “We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team,” the company said.
While the two parties did not disclose the terms of the settlement, Vanity Fair reported that Carlson will receive a whopping $20 million payout in the agreement. Carlson’s lawsuit led to an investigation by Fox into several reported sexual harassment accusations by current and former Fox News employees, and Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox New, with a reported $40 million package.
Interestingly, Carlson didn’t sue Fox—but sued Ailes personally. New York‘s Gabriel Sherman, citing anonymous sources, reported that Ailes is “personally paying” part of Carlson’s settlement, but Ailes attorney Susan Estrich told CNBC that Ailes is not contributing anything to the settlement—a wrinkle that Sherman later tweeted 21st Century Fox had confirmed. Ailes has consistently denied Carlson’s allegations that she was fired from Fox after complaining of sexual harassment by Ailes and “sexist” treatment by former co-host Steve Doocy.
Fortune reached out to an attorney representing Ailes in the matter for comment and will update this article with any response.
In her own statement, Carlson expressed her pleasure with the course of events that followed the filing of her lawsuit and she thanked those who supported her lawsuit, as well as the other women who came forward with claims against Ailes. Carlson’s full statement reads:
“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.”
While Vanity Fair wrote that the settlement brings “a relatively swift closure to an ugly chapter” for Fox, the fallout from Carlson’s lawsuit and Ailes’ departure may be far from over, as Fox News also reported on Tuesday morning that popular evening anchor Greta Van Susteren is leaving the network, with Brit Hume taking over as host of her On the Record program through the election this fall.
The Fox News report said that Van Susteren, one of several network employees who vocally supported Ailes in the wake of Carlson’s lawsuit, asked to renegotiate her contract after Ailes’ departure and ultimately decided to leave the network when no agreement could be reached on a new deal. It has also been reported that other top Fox News anchors, such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, have clauses that could allow them to exit their contracts in the wake of Ailes’ departure.
Meanwhile, Ailes may be looking to bring his own legal action against New York magazine, which followed Carlson’s lawsuit extremely closely, along with allegations brought against Ailes by several other women. New York‘s Gabriel Sherman, who famously wrote a 2014 unauthorized biography on Ailes, has already become the target of Ailes’ lawyers for his extensive reporting on the former Fox News CEO throughout the scandal. Ailes, who is now advising GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on the election, has reportedly retained attorney Charles Harder, the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in the $140 million invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media. Hiring Harder could be a sign that Ailes is looking to take legal action against New York.
On Tuesday, Sherman also noted in a tweet that, including Carlson, a handful of former female Fox employees have received more than $40 million in settlement payments from the company in connection with sexual harassment claims against either Ailes or other Fox News employees.