Fox kept O'Reilly despite harassment suit

25 October, 2017, 00:08 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Owen Sweeney  Rex Features

"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", the company said in a statement.

It was at least the sixth agreement - and by far the largest - made by either Mr. O'Reilly or the company to settle harassment allegations against him. This article, like our previous reporting on the subject, is accurate and deeply reported and we welcome any challenge to the facts.

The latest woman to accuse O'Reilly is Lis Wiehl, who had been a legal analyst for the network for 15 years. They agreed that all communications between her and O'Reilly would be destroyed, and she signed an affidavit saying she had "no claims against Bill O'Reilly concerning any of those emails or any of the allegations in the draft complaint", according to the Times.

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O'Reilly claimed to the New York Times that he "never mistreated anyone" and claimed he could "prove it". Writing on the ties between O'Reilly and Weinstein, the Times's Jim Rutenberg notes that, "a full, public airing did not come to be until those meddling reporters came along". According to the Times, O'Reilly is accused of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship, and the transmission of sexually explicit material, including gay porn, to Wiehl.

"This is crap, and you know it", O'Reilly told the Times, when asked about the settlement.

And: "Finally, in the more than 20 years Bill O'Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline". When Wiehl first appeared on the show in 2001, O'Reilly said he had gotten her the job and that she owed him for it, to which she replied, "No, no, no". The TImes added that O'Reilly was due for a custody hearing with his son later in January, while Fox News was trying to keep O'Reilly with the network in the wake of Megyn Kelly's departure. 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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