Fox Renewed O'Reilly Contract Despite $32 Million Harassment Settlement

Lucy Hill
October 23, 2017

CNN reporter Don Lemon attacked rival news network Fox News on Saturday after an explosive report from The New York Times revealed that the network extended former host Bill O'Reilly's contract after he paid out a $32 million sexual harassment settlement.

21st Century Fox and O'Reilly reached a four-year contract extension worth $25 million in February.

"The company subsequently acted based on the terms of this contract", the statement continued.

O'Reilly has denied any wrongdoing. The producer was sacked by his own company earlier this month after the Times revealed three decades of alleged sexual harassment and assault by Weinstein.

Mr. O'Reilly learned on January 2 that Ms. Wiehl meant to sue him for sexual harassment, according to The New York Times report.

Several of those suits also involved former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who stepped down in 2016 amid accusations of harassment.

The Times story reports that the settlement it reported on today was at least the sixth "and by far the largest" made by either O'Reilly or 21 Century Fox to settle harassment claims. She left at the time of the settlement.

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"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", 21st Century Fox said in a statement Saturday.

In an interview with the Times, O'Reilly maintained his innocence. 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 Times reports that Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, were adamant at the time to retain the popular host, as they had just seen the departure of Megyn Kelly.

O'Reilly blasted the article Saturday as "another smear".

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.

And that's just a month AFTER dropping massive money on the sexual harassment settlement.

O'Reilly reportedly sent Wiehl a great deal of sexually explicit material as part of his continued harassment, including sending her gay pornography, according to the report.

Fox News' parent company insists it didn't know about the amount of the settlement. However, after other sex scandal allegations broke publicly about O'Reilly, he was sacked by Fox News. When the charges against him first appeared, O'Reilly also found an ally in fellow alleged groper President Trump, who said "I don't think Bill did anything wrong".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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