Gretchen Carlson settles with Fox News for $20M and an apology

Fox News has agreed to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit launched by former host Gretchen Carlson against ex-CEO Roger Ailes for $20 million US, Vanity Fair reports.

In an unrelated move, longtime prime time anchor Greta van Susteren leaving network

TV personality Gretchen Carlson has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes and Fox News for a reported $20 million US. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Fox News has agreed to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit launched by former host Gretchen Carlson against ex-CEO Roger Ailes for $20 million US.

The network's parent company said in a statement Tuesday that "21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit. 

"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."

The statement made no mention of a monetary settlement, but magazine Vanity Fair, which has covered the story extensively, reported Tuesday that the company has given its former host $20 million.

In exchange, Carlson, 50, will agree to not take any further legal action against Ailes or any other Fox News executive.

Roger Ailes, a former political consultant who founded the conservative news operation in 1996, left Fox less than three weeks after Gretchen Carlson filed suit, taking a $40 million severance package. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP )

"I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my complaint," Carlson said in a statement.

"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 ... All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded."

Ailes resigned last month from the network he founded amid allegations of rampant impropriety, brought forward by Carlson and numerous other female employees.

Fox News still is fighting sexual harassment claims in a New York state court. Former anchor Andrea Tantaros claims she was taken off the air in April in retaliation for rebuffing Ailes' advances and complaining to top officials at Fox News.

Her lawsuit has alleged that Fox News was "a sex-fuelled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny." Fox News characterized Tantaros as an "opportunist" who was taken off the air for writing a book without permission.

Fox News also announced late Tuesday that Greta Van Susteren, host of On the Record, was leaving the network after 14 years.

Van Susteren's departure was related to a financial disagreement with her employer, according to a separate source familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity because discussions were confidential. The source declined to say if her departure was connected to Ailes' resignation.

With files from Reuters