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

NYT: O'Reilly Struck $32M Settlement In January Over Harassment Allegations

Bill O'Reilly reportedly settled a sexual harassment suit for $32 million earlier this year, months before he was sacked by Fox News.

Gretchen Carlson has come out swinging against her former network after a report that Fox News offered its former anchor Bill O'Reilly a contract renewal despite knowledge of sexual harassment allegations against him.

The parent company of Fox News says it knew about a settlement over sexual harassment allegations against Bill O'Reilly by an on-air analyst before the company extended the ex-host's $25 million contract in February. 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". Company officials said they would have renewed O'Reilly's contract whether Kelly had stayed or not.

As other accusations swirled around FNC before, during and since, O'Reilly was finally canned after it was revealed that over $10 million had been paid out to settle other sexual harassment claims against him. O'Reilly denied doing anything improper in an interview with the Times.

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.


"Their legal theory has been that we hid the fact that we had a problem with Roger", Gerson Zweifach, Fox's general counsel, wrote in the email, referring to the prosecutors and Mr. Ailes, "and now it will be applied to O'Reilly, and they will insist on full knowledge of all complaints about O'Reilly's behavior in the workplace, regardless of who settled them". Apparently O'Reilly received a draft of the lawsuit Wiehl was going to file in early January, and his lawyer told Fox News O'Reilly would handle it on his own.

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.

The Times also discovered that federal prosecutors who were investigating the network's handling of sexual harassment complaints against Ailes also requested material related to allegations against O'Reilly.

"This is covering up, this is enablers, this is shutting up the victims", she said".

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