Fox kept Bill O'Reilly despite $32M sexual harassment settlement

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Fox News signed ex-anchor Bill O'Reilly to new contract one month after he settled $32 million sexual harassment
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22 October, 2017

Former top Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who left the network in April amid accusations of sexual harassment, in January struck a $32 million settlement agreement with a former analyst for Fox News, months before his contract was extended, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

On Jan. 2, O'Reilly reportedly received a draft of a lawsuit Ms. Wiehl was threatening to file, and 21st Century Fox received a copy of the complaint soon afterward.

"It's politically and financially motivated, and we can prove it with shocking information, but I'm not going to sit here in a courtroom for a year and a half and let my kids get beaten up every single day of their lives by a tabloid press that would sit there, and you know it", O'Reilly said in an interview about the report.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel", 21st Century Fox said in a statement at the time.

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 Wiehl, and regarded it as a personal issue between the two of them.

Wiehl accused O'Reilly of harassment and "a nonconsensual sexual relationship", according to the Times, which cited unnamed sources briefed on the settlement.

The disclosures follow allegations reported earlier this month by The New York Times and The New Yorker that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women in incidents dating back to the 1980s.

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That's right, Bill. Women started accusing you of sexual harassment over a decade ago as part of a grand master plan that allowed you to continue hosting the top-rated cable news show and amassing millions of dollars for years.

Fired Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment claim just before he signed his last contract with Fox News. At the same time, they were determined to hold on to O'Reilly, whose value to the network increased after the departure of another prominent host, Megyn Kelly.

Six days after Fox's general counsel, according to the email, informed the Murdochs that details of the January settlement were expected to become public, O'Reilly was sacked. 21st Century Fox settled nearly all these cases, paying out close to $100 million dollars. "The company subsequently acted based on the terms of this contract", the statement said.

"In its latest diatribe against Bill O'Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously created to embarrass Bill O'Reilly and to keep him from competing in the market place", the statement continued. Then he made his own deal to stay with the network for $25 million a year.

They were anxious about the company's image in the wake of the Ailes scandal and concerns over the imminent departure of high-profile anchor Megyn Kelly, the Times said.

O'Reilly said in a statement at the time that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy.


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