Bill O'Reilly Reportedly Paid $32 Million Settlement in Sexual Harassment Suit

by Wade Massey October 22, 2017, 0:18

Embattled former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly reportedly paid a sexual harassment accuser a staggering $32 million just weeks before the popular news network extended the center-right host's contract for another four years.

The deal was struck in January, right before O'Reilly and Fox finalized an even bigger deal - a $25-million-a-year contract renewal.

21st Century Fox told the Times it was not aware of the amount of the settlement and considered the matter a personal issue between the two parties. O'Reilly hasn't exactly been exiled from Fox News either - he recently appeared on Sean Hannity's show, where he lamented not fighting harder to keep his job.

"21st Century Fox has taken concerted action to transform Fox News, including installing new leaders, overhauling management and on-air talent, expanding training, and increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination".

Amid the turmoil, 21st Century Fox had been facing legal and regulatory pressure, particularly its need to improve its image while seeking approval from British regulators to buy the European satellite company Sky. His spokesman was quoted saying, "We hope that all the leaks coming out of Fox are not created to hurt Bill O'Reilly in the marketplace".

The report claims that the case was settled just 15 days after the complaints were made in January. Andrea Mackris, a producer on the show "The O'Reilly Factor", sued the host, alleging he told inappropriate stories and propositioned her. O'Reilly filed a suit as well but the two would eventually settle, with the host agreeing to pay $9 million.

Observers speculated that the revelation could cause further trouble for Fox's parent company 21st Century Fox. They note that O'Reilly's new contract stipulated they had the ability to fire him should new allegations arise. British regulators said scandals in the USA have already threatened its attempt to acquire the European satellite network Sky.

Mark Fabiani, a rep for O'Reilly, sent EW an affidavit signed by Wiehl that acknowledges her claims against O'Reilly and specifically mentions "certain explicit emails".

Nevertheless, the Murdochs chose to re-sign O'Reilly, despite being aware of his history of settlements, including the one with Wiehl only a month before they began contract renewal talks.

"She replied, I know you did, I know".

"Here are the facts", he continued, "after the Chairman of Fox News Roger Ailes was sacked in July 2015, dozens of women accused scores of male employees of Fox News of harassment - including the current co-president of Fox News Jack Abernathy". Shine has been named as a defendant in several lawsuits by former Fox contributors and staffers.

O'Reilly's attorney, Fredric S. Newman, said his relationship with Wiehl was an 18-year friendship in which she sometimes gave him legal advice.

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