In January, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly agreed to pay an astonishing $32 million to settle sexual harassment allegations from a Fox New analyst.
Bill O'Reilly agreed to pay $32 million to resolve sexual harassment claims lodged by a frequent guest of his former Fox News program, The New York Times reported Saturday - an enormous, previously undisclosed settlement reached weeks before the disgraced pundit received a pay raise from the network's parent company. 21st Century Fox was aware of these complaints, the Times reported, but still renewed his contract in February for $25 million a year. According to the Times, O'Reilly is accused of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship, and the transmission of sexually explicit material, including gay porn, to Wiehl. O'Reilly hotly denied the circumstances around the settlement.
O'Reilly wrapped up the allegations this January in a quick 15 days from when the lawsuit was drafted.
Fox News did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.
Fox News' parent company insists it didn't know about the amount of the settlement.
O'Reilly was sacked in April after it was revealed he had paid out $13 million to five women to settle other sexual harassment allegations. 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". The New York Times first reported the previous five settlements in April, spurring outcry that ended in Mr. O'Reilly's ouster. He had been at the network for more than 20 years. He later said he had been a good mentor to women while at Fox.
"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,"Saturday's 21CF statement asserted".
"These changes come from the top, with Lachlan and James Murdoch personally leading the effort to promote civility and respect on the job, while maintaining the Company's long-held commitment to a diverse, inclusive and creative workplace", the company said.
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