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

The New York Times reported on Saturday that in January, Fox News paid $32 million to settle a previously undisclosed allegation of sexual harassment against Bill O'Reilly, just weeks before the network agreed to a contract with O'Reilly that would pay him $25 million a year.

It was already shocking when Fox News chose to dump its top-rated host Bill O'Reilly, after mounting revelations of sexual harassment and multi-million dollar settlements, earlier this year. "His new contract, which was made at a time typical for renewals of multi-year talent contracts, added protections for the company specifically aimed at harassment, including that Mr. O'Reilly could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations or if additional relevant information was obtained in a company investigation", 21CF added.

The money involved in O'Reilly's case is also exceptional; the $32 million the network dished out eclipsed Gretchen Carlson's $20 million settlement against Roger Ailes and singlehandedly dwarfed the amount of O'Reilly's other five publicly known settlements.

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 settlement involving Ms. Wiehl is the largest of at least six agreements reached between Mr. O'Reilly's accusers with either Fox News or its former employer.

O'Reilly has not admitted to any wrongdoing, claiming the allegations were "politically and financially motivated".

O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor, was ousted from the news channel in April amid reports he'd settled multiple suits to the tune of $13 million. He posted on his website, "Once again, The New York Times has maliciously smeared Bill O'Reilly, this time even failing to print a sworn affidavit from his former lawyer, Lis Wiehl, repudiating all allegations against Bill O'Reilly". O'Reilly denied doing anything improper in an interview with the Times.

Carlson said the latest news was "horrifying and outrageous", shaming Fox News for allowing O'Reilly back on the air.

. 'It's done as a way to put a hammer over the individual who signs so they will never come forward and disclose the allegations, ' she said.

  • Jacqueline Ellis