Gretchen Carlson's Lawyer: Employment Contract Doesn't Protect Roger Ailes, but a Severance Deal Might Have

Carlson's attorneys claim the severance deal she didn't sign sought to prevent her from suing or disparaging Ailes.
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Gretchen Carlson, Roger Ailes

Ex-Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson wants a judge to rule that she did not waive her right to a jury trial against CEO Roger Ailes and says the severance deal the network proposed when she was terminated proves it, according to a Monday court filling. 

The motion for summary judgment says Fox made its intent that Ailes not be a beneficiary of the contract is "crystal clear." How does Carlson know this? The severance agreement Fox proposed to her contained such protection for its chairman.

That agreement "sought to prevent Carlson from suing 'Fox and its divisions, subsidiaries, parents and all other affiliated corporations, as well as their current and former employees, officers, directors ...' and sought to prevent her from disparaging 'Fox, and/or any of its officers and/or any of its current and/or former employees,'" states the motion filed by Carlson's attorney Nancy Erika Smith. 

The agreement is heavily redacted, but makes it clear Carlson would have voluntarily waived her right to pursue any claims against Fox and its employees "from the beginning of time" through the date she signed the agreement. It also would have prevented both Carlson and Fox from disparaging each other.

Further, Smith argues that Ailes actions since this dispute began prove that he doesn't believe the arbitration clause applies to him. 

"He has made or caused to be made repeated public disclosures concerning Carlson’s claim, which, if the arbitration clause were enforceable and applicable to him, would violate its confidentiality provision," Smith writes in the motion. "The arbitration clause not only imposes confidentiality on the arbitration proceeding itself, but also broadly states that 'all relevant allegations and events leading up to the arbitration, shall be held in strict confidence.'"

Smith says Ailes has publicly disclosed documents and information about the matter and "launched his army of friends and business associates" to smear Carlson. 

Smith argues whether the clause applies to Ailes is a clear matter of law and can be decided by the court on summary judgment. She moved for summary judgment declaring Carlson didn't waiver her right to a trial and has requested a hearing on the matter on Aug. 15.

In another Monday filing, Smith has requested a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction to keep Ailes from pursuing the FAA petition his attorneys filed in New York. 

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