O'Reilly Struck $32M Settlement In January Over Harassment Allegations

21 October, 2017, 23:24 | Author: Cecil Buchanan

The settlement - a staggering figure for a sexual harassment case - was made in January, according to the news report, just before O'Reilly signed a new four-year contract that would pay him $25 million annually to continue as host of his top-rated prime-time program "The O'Reilly Factor".

The star anchor was dismissed in April after the Times revealed that Fox News had paid about $13 million in settlements to bury numerous similar allegations over the years, sparking widespread outrage.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox said it was not privy to the amount of O'Reilly's January settlement with 15-year Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl, and regarded it as a personal issue between the two of them.

O'Reilly denied the allegations to the New York Times. She accused O'Reilly of reneging on a commitment to get her a position as a paid contributor at Fox News after she rejected his advances at a 2013 dinner meeting at Hotel Bel-Air.

O'Reilly, in a combative interview with the Times, insisted he had done nothing wrong and only settled to spare his children from the publicity surrounding a trial.

O'Reilly's attorney, Fredric S. Newman, said his relationship with Wiehl was an 18-year friendship in which she sometimes gave him legal advice.

"It's politically and financially motivated", O'Reilly told the Times, referring to the backlash that followed after the initial allegations against him were made public in April.

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All that has not only been reported by the Times, but also now confirmed by 21st Century Fox themselves.

O'Reilly was ultimately ousted from the network in April, following an exodus of advertisers from his show's time slot.

Asked about the allegation of a nonconsensual sexual relationship, a representative for O'Reilly, Mark Fabiani, said that Twenty-First Century Fox was "well aware" Wiehl had signed a sworn affidavit "renouncing all allegations against him", adding that after receiving the document Fox News offered O'Reilly "a record breaking contract".

In an internal memo obtained by Business Insider, Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, said that "after a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Mr. O'Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel".

O'Reilly recently started TV appearances to promote his new book "Killing England", including on his formal rival Sean Hannity's Fox News program.

According to the Times, O'Reilly struck a near unheard of $32 million dollar settlement with a longtime network analyst. The largest of those was the $20 million payout former host Gretchen Carlson received after she sued Ailes in July 2016.

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