Executives at 21st Century Fox decided to end the tenure of Roger Ailes after lawyers they hired to investigate an allegation of sexual harassment against him took statements from at least six other women who described inappropriate behavior from Mr. Ailes, two people briefed on the inquiry said Wednesday.
One of the people said that the details of the allegations, while unverified, were troubling enough that they left 21st Century Fox little choice but to force an end to Mr. Ailes’s reign as chairman and chief executive of Fox News, given the potential liability they presented to the company both legally and in terms of its own corporate culture.
The people with knowledge of the state of discussions over Mr. Ailes’s exit agreement said both sides were working toward an accommodation that would recognize Mr. Ailes’s service to the company as the founder and leader of Fox News, which sits atop the cable news ratings and is a major profit engine for 21st Century Fox. The agreement could also include a provision for him to continue with Fox as a consultant.
But given the personalities and complications involved, the situation was fluid enough that no accommodation had been reached by Wednesday night.
Fox News did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the discussions or on the investigation, which is being conducted by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Lawyers for Mr. Ailes did not respond to requests for comment.
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