Report: Fox News negotiating eight-figure settlement with Gretchen Carlson; tapes may exist

Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox has begun discussing a settlement in the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Ailes, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The company is requesting that Ailes, who has denied all Carlson’s allegations, fund at least a portion of the settlement, which is expected to reach eight figures, these people said. At issue in the settlement talks is the existence of audio tapes recorded by multiple women in conversation with Ailes, two people familiar with the tapes said. Ailes’ lawyers have argued that any negotiation with Carlson should take place in private arbitration, but the specter of a public trial looms. “If they litigate the case, all the tapes will become public, directly and through others,” this person said. “Then you will have a parade of women come in. Nobody wants that.” (Ailes, through his lawyer, denied all allegations.)