Fox knew of Bill O'Reilly harassment settlement before renewing contract

by Dwayne Torres October 25, 2017, 0:09
Fox knew of Bill O'Reilly harassment settlement before renewing contract

The paper reports Wiehl's attorneys sent a draft of a lawsuit to O'Reilly on January 2, and the parties reached a settlement a few days later.

"Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman's complaints about Mr. O'Reilly".

Lis Wiehl claimed O'Reilly would message her sexually explicit material including gay pornography - and was pushed into a sexual relationship with him, the Times reported. O'Reilly, of course, was removed from his perch as the king of Fox's primetime lineup in April after The New York Times's Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt reported on five previous settlements with women who had accused the host of sexual harassment.

Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson slammed the network on Saturday for keeping host Bill O'Reilly's talk show on the air, over new revelations that Fox had offered the host a new contract after settling a lawsuit over sexual harassment.

"His new contract, which was made at a time typical for renewals of multi-year talent contracts, added protections for the company specifically aimed at harassment, including that O'Reilly could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations or if additional relevant information was obtained in a company investigation".

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The settlement involving Ms. Wiehl is the largest of at least six agreements reached between Mr. O'Reilly's accusers with either Fox News or its former employer.

Carlson sued Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in July of 2016 for sexual harassment of his employees. "The Times ignored that evidence, sworn under oath, and chose to rely on unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete leaked or stolen documents".

Fox News did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.

Even though Fox knew about O'Reilly's history it seems that Murdoch and his sons decided the network couldn't take losing such a strong star at a time when Megyn Kelly had just left the network. Debra Katz, a D.C attorney who handles sexual harassment cases, said the $32 millionsettlement amount was "tantamount to a class-action suit", in a conversation with the L.A. Times: "Katz said a settlement of that size typically includes a promise to withdraw the allegation".


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