A former Fox News host settled a hostile work environment lawsuit she filed against the network, her lawyer said.
“She settled and left Fox,” Diana Falzone’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, told Bloomberg Law in an email March 9. Smith declined to comment further.
The settlement ends a sex and disability discrimination lawsuit that celebrity news and gossip host Falzone filed against Fox News in May 2017. She said the network ended her appearances on air after she wrote a column discussing her experience with an illness that would likely leave her unable to bear children. The network decided to keep her off camera because her reproductive health status, in their view, “detracted from her sex appeal and made her less desirable,” according to her complaint.
Male hosts on air had discussed their own illnesses, including heart disease, multiple sclerosis, substance abuse, and depression without adverse workplace consequences, Falzone said in the lawsuit. Falzone has endometriosis, a condition in which abnormal growths in the pelvic area can cause infertility, she said.
The lawsuit was filed at a time when Fox News was facing a wave of accusations of sexual harassment and a racially hostile work environment by current and former female employees. The accusations and the public fallout led to the departures of high-profile network figures, including CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly.
Despite the diagnosis, Falzone tweeted March 1 that she became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. “For two years since I was told I was infertile, I prayed that somehow I would become a mom,” she wrote. “After IVF treatments, my prayers were answered.”
Falzone’s most recent published piece on Fox News’ website is dated Feb. 20. Information on the date of the settlement wasn’t available, but court records show the case is active. Settling an individual discrimination case is a simple matter of filing a notice of dismissal with the court.
A Fox News spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement.
The case is Falzone v. Fox News Network, N.Y. Super. Ct., No. 153973/2017, settlement date not available.
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