Gretchen Carlson has settled her sex harassment case for $20 million and a public apology. See CNN news report. Fox News paid a portion and according to one report, so did Roger Ailes. It is one of the largest settlements ever for one person in a discrimination lawsuit. It also included a public apology. Fox News also settled with other women who lodged complaints for much smaller amounts.
Ms. Carlson’s case was settled before any motion for summary judgment or to dismiss. Ms. Carlson was said to have recordings of her encounters with Mr. Ailes. That would help explain the speed and size of this settlement.The settlement is also remarkable because Fox News settled the case. Fox News was not sued. To avoid the terms of a non-compete agreement, Ms. Carlson actually sued Roger Ailes.
Every Plaintiff’s lawyer in the country will draw a breath, not because this is such a large amount, but because now every client will ask why they cannot ask for $20 million. What makes her case worth so much is any alleged tape recordings and her high income. Doubtless, she was paid in the mid to high six figures. So, her lost income will be quite high. And, with this sort of notoriety, she will probably have trouble working as a news anchor for the foreseeable future.