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Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson settles lawsuit against Ailes for $20 million

Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF and Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF and Andrew Toth/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the case that led to the downfall of Fox’s chief executive with stunning swiftness this summer.

In a statement Tuesday, Fox parent company 21st Century said that “we regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”

Carlson was paid $20 million, according to someone familiar with the confidential settlement who spoke under condition of anonymity.

Carlson alleged that she was demoted and let go from Fox after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances and complained about workplace harassment. Ailes denied the charges, but 21st Century launched an investigation and Ailes resigned after other women made allegations.

Fran Pastore, the CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council here in Connecticut, spoke to FOX 61 about the settlement.

"I want to take the money out of it because for me it's not about the money," Pastore said. "Listen, $20 million is a lot of money. But let's separate the money from the fact that she had the courage of her conviction to go forward. She knew why she was fired, she had others around her to support her case, and I really believe that in the times that we're living in  one of the biggest reasons that women are not pursuing some of the injustices that they see is because they'res a lack of a support system. So that's my take on it, and I think that she's setting a wonderful example for other people to come forward."

She also spoke about FOX's apology, saying, "It's unusual to being with, but I think they're setting a precedent, and I think they are responding in a responsible way to a trend. I think we're going to see more and more of this happening...so I think it's actually very timely."

Pastore also spoke about some of her own experiences with sexual harassment.

The Women's Business Development Council is hosting the Women with Impact event at the Greenwich Hyatt Regency on September 23 so that women can speak about how they got to where they are despite challenges. Learn more here.