Overshadowed in coverage by the last election, the sexual harassment case against Roger Ailes of Fox News appeared not to get much media time. However, the allegations against Ailes are still in full swing as a number of reporters working for Fox News have allegedly either decided to jump ship or have been paid off to keep their stories out of the limelight. At least, that is what the ongoing criminal investigation has been employed to find out.
Fox News Channel, a Rupert Murdoch company, has had allegations levied against them that the company hid the details and payouts of sexual harassment suits from their investors in order to save face. The claims are that the company paid people off to not press charges, but failed to tell their shareholders, or anyone who holds a monetary stake in the company, about the financial arrangements.
Judd Burnstein, an attorney who represents Fox News host Andrea Tantaros, insists that many “under the table” deals were made. Many other clients have been subpoenaed to tell their story in front of a grand jury to determine whether there is enough evidence to follow the case forward. The ex-chairman Roger Ailes is the one who is on trial, but so too is an entire network of executives who made the decision to keep things quiet.
Burnstein commented that he had heard there was an ongoing investigation related to the allegations of sexual harassment. Although some of the most prominent figures like Gretchen Carlson refused to be paid off and have been vocal and might seek legal advice, Bernstein alleges that she was just the tip of the iceberg. He believes that many cases were sunk by secret deals and backhanded payoffs.
It’s not just a matter of money; there are criminal allegations in the works. Burnstein maintains that the office has subpoenas issued. There is also a securities unit looking into the investigation to see if there was impropriety by Fox News dealing in settlements without letting shareholders know about the allegations and how they were being dealt with, as an attempt to keep their stocks high.
In a cloak of secrecy, even Burnstein has not named those who have been subpoenaed to the grand jury to sort through the details. The lawyer defending Fox News insists that the investigation has no merit and is nothing short of a witch-hunt.
Burnstein’s allegations are that the payouts made to female employees who claimed sexual harassment are not recorded in Fox’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and that it is potentially a violation of federal law, which can result in criminal charges. The real question in this case is not whether deals were made to save Ailes’ reputation and potentially Fox News’ stock, but whether there was an obligation for those payouts to be made public, or at a minimum disclosed to Fox News’ investors.
If the answer is “yes,” then Murdoch’s company has been in violation of the law. And it doesn’t just involve securities or sexual harassment suits; this also crosses into the realm of employment law and class action. With so many different legal questions, it is difficult to figure out what, if any, and how many laws have been violated and what is punishable.
If Ailes did not tell the shareholders about the payouts, then are they really liable to pay for his crimes, or for the payouts to those who made allegations of sexual harassment against the chairman? Is it the investor’s responsibility to take financial losses for the potentially criminal acts of the company they invest in?
Burnstein insists that he was first made aware of the potential impropriety when the case that he brought before Fox News began in arbitration instead of court. Wondering how many other suits had been brought and settled before his, he knew that such a high-profile claim could not have been the first to be denied its day in court. What is for sure is that there are several sexual harassment cases levied against Ailes. How many? No one knows. But a grand jury is about to find out and rule whether or not it was legal to keep those payoffs from investors.
What Fuels Addiction?
Millions of people suffer from an addiction of some kind. For many, it’s illegal drugs and narcotics which are incredibly powerful. Others, however, are addicted to substances which are available to buy over the counter. From cigarettes to alcohol, the numbers of people who abuse legal drugs are astounding. Even coffee is exploited with an estimated 90% of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis. Everyone’s path is different, yet the result is always the same. So, what causes people from varying backgrounds and cultures develop a craving that is too strong to shake? Here’s what the experts believe.
The Dopamine Effect
Dopamine is the chemical in the brain which is released when people take drugs. What’s dangerous about this substance is how it relates to feelings of happiness and pleasure. In simple terms, it makes a person experience emotions which they have never been familiar with before. And, it’s as if they are heightened and timed by ten. This goes for every substance from heroin to cigarettes. Although certain drugs are further up the pleasure scale, they all encourage the brain to release dopamine. Yes, that goes for sex and food, too.
In short, chemicals are what cause the addiction to take hold in the first place. However, everyone has a threshold, just like pain. Some people can stand a small shot of dopamine without the neurobiological changes impacting the brain. They are the individuals that can use drugs recreationally without developing a severe addiction. Others aren’t as lucky and one hit can be enough for the brain to adapt to the point where it needs a shot of dopamine. The men and women that have a low threshold are more likely to be victims of addiction, and that is a genetic lottery.
Lack Of Consequences
No one can click their fingers and recover within a matter of seconds. Addiction takes a lifetime to overcome. Still, some people don’t have the means to quit because there are zero consequences. At least, they aren’t powerful enough to make an individual want to stop. Smoking is a prime example. Employers don’t issue a probation drug test on a Monday morning, so consuming nicotine isn’t a life wrecker. Sure, smoking can be deadly and cause cancer, yet smokers can’t see the changes so don’t care. Food and alcohol are two other addictions which lack consequences.
It’s cliché but it’s one that is true. Friends can be a bad influence on a person, especially if the individual wants to be liked. Not taking a hit can highlight people as not cool and square, and guys and girls take it to heart. As a result, they experiment with a range of drugs and get hooked in the process. Peer pressure is also a factor in gateway addiction. First, it’s beer, cigarettes or marijuana, and next, it’s cocaine or ecstasy. Before long, it’s something incredibly powerful and potent.
Finally, there are the circumstances of the individual. Lots of addicts have a similar background because homelessness or poverty can force their hand.
How To Deal With A Family Crisis
It’s something that we don’t like to talk about – and understandably so. But if disaster and tragedy strike your family, the sense of shock and unreality can threaten to derail everything in your life. From bankruptcy to wrongful death and from natural disaster to serious injury or illness – of course we don’t want to talk about them. If your worst nightmare does actually come true- who do you turn to? How do you process it? And what do you do to begin some kind of recovery?
Acknowledge That The Worst Happened
It’s perfectly normal to struggle to process your feelings after something unimaginable happens. And many of us want to bury our heads in the sand- but that’s one of the worst things we can do. If we don’t acknowledge we’re under incredible stress, we can’t begin to practise stress management techniques, which can be seriously harmful to our mental and physical health.
Talk About It
Approaching a tragic or difficult topic can be hard, especially if you want to speak to someone who hasn’t had experience of anything similar themselves. There are no hard and fast rules about this, but talking about it will help you process what’s happening. Support groups can offer a lifeline in connecting you with other individuals in similar situations.
Take Care Of Yourself
Self-care can feel trivial, irreverent and even too self-indulgent in the wake of a huge impactful event. However, it’s important to still take care of the basics – exercise, a reasonably healthy diet and not falling into the traps of drugs and alcohol as a false escape to your problems. Try to limit nicotine and caffeine, which can exacerbate stress. Your health may be fragile so taking time to take care of yourself is warding off further problems at a difficult time.
Access The Right Support
If you need legal counsel, make sure you do your homework. Don’t be pressured to rush into a decision, but find a firm with a track record in the kind of specialist representation you need, such as GJEL who are experienced in wrongful death suits. Choosing the wrong people to work with can mean further stress at exactly the wrong time.
Do Something Positive
At a time when the world appears to have been unspeakably cruel to you, you have two choices. Either react with hate and bitterness, and you get sucked into a negative cycle which can quite literally destroy you. Or make the choice to give out something positive, no matter how small. Taking positive steps can restore a feeling of control for you and make you feel that the world isn’t such a hostile place. Look at volunteering opportunities, or do something such as giving blood. Little things can make a big difference to your mindset.
Ask For Help
Don’t feel it’s wrong or shameful to ask for help when you need it- it’s actually a sign of great strength. Find a mental health professional if you feel that you need support to move on from devastating events. Friends, relatives or spiritual leaders can also be very important at this time – remember that you don’t have to cope alone.
In life nothing is assured, and it’s never going to be all sunshine and lollipops. You might find that there are times in your life where you have found yourself in a situation where you need a lawyer or solicitor. These situations could be because of something you have done, or something that has been do to you, but either way, it would be very real, and nerve wracking to say the least. Whether it’s a criminal offence, a divorce or something equally as horrible, you will need some sort of legal help. However, not everyone knows the ins and outs of the legal world and each different type of lawyer available. So here are some of the more common ones that you might need.
Nobody in their right mind gets married with the plan to get divorced, so a divorce lawyer isn’t really a person you have on speed dial. However, with over 40% of marriages ending in divorce these days, it might be a number you find yourself dialing. If this happens then a divorce lawyer will be able to unravel the joint ownership of property between a married couple, negotiate on your behalf on monetary matters, and even help with custody agreements.
‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is a fact, and it’s the way that the law operates. It’s not up to you to prove that you’re innocent, but for the prosecutor to prove that you’re guilty, so a good defence lawyer will convince the jury that the evidence against you is inconsequential. If, touch wood, you ever find yourself standing accused of a crime, no matter how small, then you’re going to need a good defence.
When separating from your partner you might need advice, or someone to negotiate on your behalf when it comes to custody agreements. A divorce lawyer will be able to do these things too; however, if you’re not married, or are already divorced, then they might not be your top choice during this tricky time.
If you have a business, then you need a business lawyer. You might not need them every day of your life, but they can easily handle all your affairs, give you advice, and stop you from doing anything stupid. A business lawyer can negotiate sales and mergers on your behalf, and defend you in court if need be.
Medical malpractice lawyer – the person who is going to get you justice for any mishandling during your time in hospital. If you have been neglected, have been misdiagnosed, if you have suffered from bad side effects from a prescription drug that you weren’t warned about, this lawyer is for you. This is probably the most common type of attorney that you see advertising on TV, park benches, bus stops, and everywhere else.
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