21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal, Representative Conyers Sexual Harassment Charges

November 22, 2017 Comments Off on 21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal, Representative Conyers Sexual Harassment Charges

– 21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal
– Democrats Move Swiftly Against Conyers Amid Latest Harassment Charges

21st Century Fox in $90 million settlement tied to sexual harassment scandal
Jonathan Stempel  November 20, 2017

(Reuters) – Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has reached a $90 million settlement of shareholder claims arising from the sexual harassment scandal at its Fox News Channel, which cost the jobs of longtime news chief Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O‘Reilly.

The settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, resolves what are known as “derivative” claims against Fox officers and directors, including: Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan, who are Fox’s executive chairmen; James Murdoch, another son and its chief executive, and Ailes’ estate.

The defendants did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement filed with the Delaware Chancery Court.

Monday’s settlement calls for insurers of Fox officers, Fox directors and Ailes’ estate to pay the $90 million to the New York-based company for the benefit of shareholders.

Fox will enhance governance and said it created the Fox News Workplace Professionalism and Inclusion Council to ensure a proper workplace environment, bolster training and further the recruitment and advancement of women and minorities….

The scandal at Fox began in July 2016 when former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing Ailes of harassment. O‘Reilly lost his job in April after being accused of harassment, and has denied wrongdoing.

Ailes died the next month. Fox faces other private civil litigation tied to the scandal.

The case is City of Monroe Employees’ Retirement System v Murdoch et al, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 2017-0833.

Democrats Move Swiftly Against Conyers Amid Latest Harassment Charges

Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, entered the House in 1965 and has led the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for decades.

WASHINGTON — Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, moved swiftly on Tuesday against the House’s longest-serving lawmaker, calling for the House Ethics Committee to investigate sexual harassment charges against Representative John Conyers Jr., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Conyers, 88, who has represented parts of the Detroit area in the House since 1965, confirmed the settlement of a wrongful termination complaint in 2015 from a staff member who had accused him of sexual harassment. But he denied that the staff member was fired for refusing to have sex with him. The settlement was first reported by BuzzFeed News on Monday….

Mr. Conyers denied any wrongdoing and said the money paid to his accuser amounted to a “reasonable severance payment.”

But legal documents published by BuzzFeed show repeated allegations by female staff members of requests for sex, suggestive touching, caresses and other sexual improprieties. On Tuesday evening, BuzzFeed wrote about a separate lawsuit against Mr. Conyers filed in February in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, later withdrawn after the court denied the accuser’s motion to seal the proceedings.

In the suit, a former scheduler for Mr. Conyers said she suffered through unwanted touching and romantic advances “repeatedly and daily” in 2015 and 2016.

The calls for an investigation came as Democrats privately raised the prospect that Mr. Conyers would at least be asked to step aside from the coveted top Judiciary post. Mr. Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also holds the venerated title of Dean of the House. But he has been a target of Democrats who are eager to bring fresh blood into the Judiciary Committee leadership for some time, three congressional officials said….

According to the documents obtained by BuzzFeed, a former staff member said she was fired because she would not succumb to Mr. Conyers’s “sexual advances.” The publication also obtained affidavits from other staff members who said Mr. Conyers repeatedly harassed women working for him through actions that included requests for sexual acts, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Mr. Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually and rubbing their legs and backs in public….

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