Tags: Fox News | Roger Ailes | Fox News | Probe

Federal Probe Into Fox News Is Widening

Image: Federal Probe Into Fox News Is Widening
Roger Ailes in July, 2 days before stepping down as chairman of Fox News. (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 05 May 2017 01:48 PM

Federal investigators have widened their criminal probe into Fox News Channel's multi-million dollar payoffs to former employees who accused former CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The Journal says people familiar with the investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service indicate those agencies have interviewed several women who complained about Ailes' alleged predatory behavior.

They include Julie Roginsky, an on-air contributor who has filed a lawsuit against the network, and Laurie Luhn, a former talent booker who said Ailes sexually harassed and "psychologically tortured" her for 20 years. Ailes, who has denied the charges, was forced to resign last July.

The Journal says information investigators have gathered "has provided them with a window into the roles of other Fox News executives in arranging the settlements or enabling an atmosphere in which sexual harassment allegedly wasn't punished."

Those executives reportedly include former co-President Bill Shine, who resigned May 1; Fox News General Counsel Dianne Brandi; former CFO Mark Kranz ; Judy Laterza, Ailes' longtime executive assistant; and Peter Johnson Jr., his personal lawyer and a frequent guest on Fox News, sources tell the Journal.

The same day Shine resigned, Foxnews.com personality Diana Falzone filed a lawsuit alleging she was kept off the air after writing an opinion piece about her bout with endometriosis because network bosses thought it "detracted from her sex appeal and made her less desirable."

A 21st Century Fox spokesman said the company declined to comment on the expanded investigation to the Journal.

The newspaper's report also comes after Bill O'Reilly, Fox News's highest-rated host, abruptly left the company following a New York Times story that he made settlements of as much as $13 million to women who had accused him of harassment or inappropriate behavior.

In addition, Fox News faces renewed legal claims that it mistreated non-white employees, demeaning and humiliating them, paying them less than white coworkers and passing them over for promotions.

As well, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros recently claimed in a new lawsuit that the cable network targeted both her and Newsmax Media's CEO Christopher Ruddy. Tantaros had previously sued Fox, claiming she was a victim of sexual harassment by Ailes and O'Reilly, a case still in litigation.

Murdoch's companies control both Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, which reported the latest developments.

The troubles at Fox News could have wider implications for Murdoch's global media empire. Britain's Guardian newspaper reported Friday that a woman who has accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment is to meet in London next week with officials of the British media regulator Ofcom.

The regulator is reviewing 21st Century Fox's proposed $14 billion takeover of Sky, the pan-European satellite broadcaster. A key factor in deciding whether to approve the deal: Whether Murdoch is a "fit and proper" owner.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
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Federal investigators have widened their criminal probe into Fox News Channel's multi-million dollar payoffs to former employees who accused former CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, The Wall Street Journal is reporting....
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2017-48-05
Friday, 05 May 2017 01:48 PM
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