Tags: Fox News | Fox News | Ailes | payments | probe

WashPost: Feds Probing Fox Payments to Ex-Booker

Image: WashPost: Feds Probing Fox Payments to Ex-Booker
Roger Ailes (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 06 May 2017 05:13 PM

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Fox News and its parent company tried to cover up a $3.15 million payout to a former employee who alleged that she had a 20-year affair with former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, according to news reports.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is focusing on a 2011 payment to Laurie Luhn, who left the network that year with the severance package, The Washington Post reports.

Luhn was a booker and event planner who claimed to New York Magazine last year that she was in a consensual relationship with Ailes, which she described as "psychological torture."

She also alleged that several of Ailes' aides facilitated the liaison and that they knew how Ailes allegedly treated her.

Luhn and several other witnesses have been interviewed by prosecutors regarding the payout and how it was recorded by Fox officials, sources told the Post.

"Mr. Ailes took no part in any decisions about the accounting, reporting or disclosing of any severance to Ms. Luhn," Susan Estrich, Ailes’ lawyer, told the newspaper.

Fox News referred questions to parent 21st Century Fox, whose spokesman, Nathaniel Brown, declined to comment.

One prosecutor, Damian Williams, declined to comment to the Post, while a second involved in the probe, Andrea Griswold, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ailes, 76, resigned last July after a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment was filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. He remains a Fox consultant through next year. Ailes has denied the allegations.

According to the Post, prosecutors are concerned about how Luhn's payment was accounted for and whether Fox News and 21st Century Fox improperly recorded that payout and others to former employees such that they minimized their financial impact on the company.

Other ex-Fox employees who have been interviewed include Chief Financial Officer Mark Kranz, Fox media relations chief Brian Lewis and host Juliet Huddy, the Post reports.

In January, Huddy was paid a $1.6 million settlement from Fox after alleging that former Fox host Bill O’Reilly had harassed her.

O'Reilly, 67, was ousted last month after The New York Times reported that five women had received payouts totaling $13 million for agreeing to not pursue litigation or discuss any allegations regarding sexual harassment.

O'Reilly has denied all accusations.

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Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Fox News and its parent company tried to cover up a $3.15 million payout to a former employee who alleged that she had a 20-year affair with former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, according to news reports.The U.S....
Fox News, Ailes, payments, probe
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2017-13-06
Saturday, 06 May 2017 05:13 PM
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