Fox News’ parent company has reached a settlement with former contributor Julie Roginsky, a New Jersey political strategist who claimed in a lawsuit that former chairman Roger Ailes was a “sexual predator” who punished her for refusing his advances.
“Now on to vocally ensuring that other women are treated with dignity and respect in their chosen fields,” Roginsky wrote on Facebook. She declined to comment further. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in New York state court in April, Roginsky alleged that Ailes made a promised promotion to a permanent hosting job on The Five “contingent upon having a sexual relationship” with him.
Roginsky also claimed that former Fox News executive Bill Shine retaliated when she refused to publicly disparage former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson when Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes in July 2016. Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, also ended up settling with Carlson, who was reportedly paid $20 million.
Most strikingly, Roginsky claimed that the environment at Fox News, which she described as a “culture of misogyny and sexism,” didn’t change after Ailes was forced to resign in July 2016. She claimed Shine, in-house lawyer Dianne Brandi and other senior executives continued to punish her and deny her promotion opportunities for raising the issue of sexual harassment.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Susan Estrich, an attorney for Ailes, who died in May, has previously called Roginsky’s allegations “total hogwash.”
“Her interactions with Mr. Ailes were not even close to the fictional version she wants people to believe,” Estrich told NPR’s David Folkenflick in April. “The idea that Mr. Ailes would pressure Ms. Roginsky or any other women to have sexual relations with him is total nonsense.”
Shine was ousted by the network in May. Brandi took a “voluntary leave” at the beginning of October but has yet to return.
Roginsky, a Democratic consultant from New Jersey, had made appearances on Fox News since 2004 and had been a paid contributor since 2011. She appeared across multiple shows to provide a liberal counterpoint to the network’s heavy conservative offerings. She was one of the first advisers Gov.-elect Phil Murphy turned to when he began exploring a gubernatorial bid back in 2013. Most recently, Roginsky worked for the Democratic Governors Association through the 2017 election, where she also helped elect Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as the next governor of Virginia.
Fox News has been roiled this year by sexual harassment lawsuits. Former star host Bill O’Reilly was fired in April after the New York Times reported the network paid $45 million to settle claims of sexual and verbal assault by six former Fox News personalities. Three of those women — former O’Reilly producer Andrea Mackris, former Fox Business host Rebecca Gomez Diamond and former Fox News producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein — have joined in a defamation lawsuit against O’Reilly, claiming statements that he and Fox News made cast them as liars and extortionists.
Fox News was also forced to fire longtime host Eric Bolling after an investigation into allegations that he sent lewd photos to at least three female coworkers. Bolling has maintained that he has been falsely accused and has vowed to clear his name.