New York Times best selling author and host of the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly is in hot water after he became the subject of a New York Times investigative report showing that a total of five women have been paid off either by Fox News or O’Reilly himself to keep quiet about allegations of sexual harassment. The payouts for silence total $13 million.
From the New York Times,
“The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded like Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.”
Of the five cases, two of them occured after Fox News accepted the resignation of Roger Ailes amid his own sexual harassment scandals. At the time, Fox News said in a statement that is would not tolerate behavior that “disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.” Oh really?
Two of the cases had already been known, and were rarely brought up by opponents of O’Reilly. One such instance was when talk radio host Mark Levin mentioned a phone sex scandal during a rant. Listen below –
The three new cases that have been brought to light were unknown to most of the public. Two of them involved sexual harassment, and another involved an incident when O’Reilly verbally berated a female producer in the presence of the entire news room. One of the women, Wendy Walsh, said that after she turned him down, he then decided to nix his agreement to help secure her a position with the company. Andrea Tantaros claimed in a lawsuit against Fox News that O’Reilly had sexually harassed her.
Fox was quick to backup their star, however. The host of the #1 rated prime-time cable news show has pulled in an advertising revenue of over $400 million from 2014-2016, all while asking for a meager salary of around $18 million. In a statement, Fox News said,
“Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously, we have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O’Reilly. While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr. O’Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.”