Fox renewed Bill O'Reilly deal despite harassment suit

23 October, 2017, 04:39 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • 21st Century Fox Defends Bill O'Reilly Contract Renewal After New Sexual Harassment Settlement

In any case, by April, the Murdochs chose to eject Mr. O'Reilly as a portion of the settlements ended up plainly open and represented a huge risk to their business realm. But he said he agreed to settle "to protect my children from the horror" of continuing adverse publicity had Wiehl's allegations been litigated in court.

The complaint alleged O'Reilly engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and a non-consensual sexual relationship and was settled for $32 million in January.

21st Century Fox released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, October 21, in which the company defended renewing O'Reilly's contact: "When the company renewed Bill O'Reilly's contract in February, it knew that a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, but was informed by Mr. O'Reilly that he had settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and Ms. Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the company".

Demonstrator Matt Mitchell holds a sign outside of the News Corp. and Fox News headquarters April 19 in midtown.

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O'Reilly is not the only person to have been ousted by Fox for claims of misconduct - Fox News Channel chairman and CEO Roger Ailes was forced to resign amid similar sexual harassment allegations in 2016. Fox re-signed O'Reilly earlier this year, he wrote, "after the company had analyzed and considered all the allegations against him".

However, O'Reilly refused to specifically comment on Wiehl.

The money involved in O'Reilly's case is also exceptional; the $32 million the network dished out eclipsed Gretchen Carlson's $20 million settlement against Roger Ailes and singlehandedly dwarfed the amount of O'Reilly's other five publicly known settlements.

Wiehl appeared regularly on O'Reilly's program for 15 years, and said in her affidavit that she had worked with him, socialized with him and offered legal advice over an 18-year period.

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O'Reilly was seen on camera on Fox News telling legal commentator Wiehl, "Hey, you know, Lis, I got you this job". "This is crap, and you know it".

Since his dismissal, O'Reilly's media profile has dimmed, though he continues to broadcast his hard-edged political opinions from home, and recently published the latest installment in his bestselling Killing series.

21st Century Fox settled nearly all these cases, paying out close to $100 million.

Ms. Wiehl agreed to destroy all communications between her and Mr. O'Reilly and eventually signed an affidavit dated January 17 retracting the allegations and promising not to sue, the report said.

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The Times reached out to O'Reilly himself for comment, and he was predictably combative, telling the interviewer, "This is frightful, it's disgusting what I went through, awful what my family went through". It added that "these changes come from the top". "I think he's a person I know well - he is a good person".


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