NEW YORK — Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has settled sexual harrassment allegations against the network’s ousted chairman, Roger Ailes, and has received a $20 million payment and a public apology from its parent company, 21st Century Fox.

FILE - This Nov. 30, 2010 file photo shows Gretchen Carlson, co-host of the "Fox & friends" television program appears on the show in New York. A video shown Wednesday, May 30, 2012, on "Fox & Friends," and praised by co-anchors Brian Kilmeade and Carlson, drew criticism from media critics about the video critical of President Barack Obama's record that resembled a campaign attack ad. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

Gretchen Carlson: “I want to thank all of the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me.” Richard Drew/Associated Press

The settlement brings a swift and expensive end to a claim that set in motion Ailes’s downfall from Fox, the cable news network he co-founded in 1996 and guided to dominance in the ensuing two decades.

Carlson, the former host of “Fox and Friends,” sued Ailes on July 6, claiming that she was demoted and eventually let go from Fox after she refused his sexual advances. Ailes has repeatedly denied the allegations.

But 21st Century effectively surrended after two months of withering publicity about the suit and an alleged culture of harrassment at Fox fostered by Ailes. In addition to its massive payment to Carlson, it issued a statement Tuesday apologizing to her.

The statement, attributed to “21st Century Fox,” read, “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of her colleagues deserve. We know Gretchen will be successful in whatever endeavors she chooses in the future.”

Carlson’s suit brought forth at least 20 other women who said, usually anonymously, that Ailes had harrassed them during his long career in television. Another former Fox host, Andrea Tantaros, filed a lawsuit against Ailes last month, saying that she, too, was harrassed and demoted by Ailes when she rebuffed him.

“I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my complaint,” Carlson said in a statement Tuesday. “I’m ready to move on the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace. I want to thank all of the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me … All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace.”

21st Century Fox’s willingness to settle Carlson’s lawsuit just weeks after it was filed appears to reflect the influence of Lachlan and James Murdoch, the sons of 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch. While Ailes has long enjoyed the loyalty of Rupert Murdoch, the younger Murdochs — who are chairman and chief executive, respectively, of 21st Century Fox — have long clashed with the Fox News founder.

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