Fox News Reportedly Discusses 8-Figure Settlement With Gretchen Carlson

The sexual harassment lawsuit between former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes continues to heat up as details about other women’s allegations and Ailes’ alleged tendency to spy on reporters come to light. Vanity Fair reports that 21st Century Fox began discussing a settlement with Carlson that could reach eight figures. Ailes continues to deny the sexual harassment allegations against him and his lawyers claim any negotiations should take place in private arbitration.

Fox wants Ailes to pay part of the settlement, but the ousted CEO hasn’t said whether or not he’s willing to. It could jump past $10 million because of alleged recordings of Ailes harassing more than one woman. It’s unknown which women claim to have tapes of conversations with Ailes, but Carlson’s attorneys say at least 20 other women have contacted them with allegations against the media exec.

Of course, these tapes getting out wouldn’t look good for Ailes or Fox News, cementing the allegations against him in people’s minds through whatever crude comments he allegedly said to the female employees. “If they litigate the case, all the tapes will become public, directly and through others,” an anonymous source familiar with the negotiations told Vanity Fair. “Then you will have a parade of women come in. Nobody wants that.”

The irony in women potentially having recordings of Ailes is that he allegedly spent Fox News money spying on journalists. A senior Fox source told New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman that Ailes hired consultants, political operatives, and private detectives who reported only to him, and Fox recently fired five “consultants” hired by Ailes, at least one of whom ran negative campaigns against Ailes’ personal and political enemies. Who does this guy think he is?

CNN’s Brian Stelter claims Fox News sent a low-level staffer to go on dates with him to gather ~intel~ about 10 years ago. “So I was going out on what I thought were dates,” Stelter said on CNN’s New Day Tuesday“These were not dates. She was actually reporting back to Fox News about me. She was reporting back about what I thought of her and about CNN and MSNBC and Fox.”

Ailes left Fox with $40 million as part of an agreement that states he can’t start a competing media company, so he’s more than capable of paying part or all of a settlement with Carlson if one is reached. Hopefully some of that money will also go to other women allegedly sexually harassed by him over the years.