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Ailes ally Greta Van Susteren to leave Fox

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who defended Roger Ailes against sex harassment charges, is leaving the network, Fox announced Tuesday.

The departure of the "On the Record" anchor was disclosed by Fox News co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine after 21st Century Fox announced it had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson against Ailes. The company settled for a reported $20 million and issued an apology to Carlson.

Van Susteren, who had spent 14 years at the network, defended the ex-Fox News CEO against Carlson's claims.

"We are grateful for Greta's many contributions over the years and wish her continued success," Abernethy and Shine said in a statement.

Van Susteren confirmed the news on her Facebook page, saying that she left Fox News on Thursday night using a clause in her contract. She wrote she hopes to continue her career in broadcast journalism.

"Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now," she wrote. "The clause had a time limitation, meaning I could not wait."

In an interview with The New York Times, Van Susteren's husband, John P. Coale, said she used a "key man clause." The clause allowed Van Susteren to leave the network if Ailes left the company. Regarding why his wife used the clause, Coale said: "There's more than meets the eye," and added there was a potential for litigation in the future.

Coale said Van Susteren's departure at the same time Carlson's settlement was announced was a "coincidence."

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume will take Van Susteren's position on the show.

"As one of the best political analysts in the industry, Brit is the ideal choice to host a nightly political program while the most dynamic and captivating election in recent history unfolds," the co-presidents said. "Having Brit at the helm of this show will enable FOX News to continue on track to have its highest-rated year ever as the network dominates the cable news landscape."

In her lawsuit, Carlson claimed she was fired from Fox because she refused to have a sexual relationship with Ailes. She detailed several instances of sexual harassment, including times when the former executive allegedly asked her to turn around to view her posterior and supposedly claimed he had slept with former Miss Americas but not her.

Van Susteren defended Ailes to People, calling Carlson a "disgruntled employee." She said she had been alone with the ex-Fox News CEO multiple times and had never experienced sexual harassment by him.

Several other women, including current Fox News host Megyn Kelly, have come forward to also report instances of sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes, according to several reports.

Ailes resigned from Fox News in July. His attorney, Susan Estrich, denied reports from sources that he will be contributing to Carlson's settlement.