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O'Reilly Fires Back At New Harassment Settlement Report

23 October 2017, 05:39 | Clyde Nash

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

21st Century Fox Defends Bill O'Reilly Contract Renewal After New Sexual Harassment Settlement

CNN reporter Don Lemon attacked rival news network Fox News on Saturday after an explosive report from The New York Times revealed that the network extended former host Bill O'Reilly's contract after he paid out a $32 million sexual harassment settlement.

Saturday saw a new investigative report from the New York Times, which provided details of a sixth settlement (paid by O'Reilly) for the astronomical sum of $32 million to accuser Lis Wiehl.

A spokesman for O'Reilly released a statement, saying that "Once again, The New York Times has maliciously smeared Bill O'Reilly".

"The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact".

He made suggestive remarks to her on the air for years afterward, such as recommending that she dance at a strip club, and her other complains against O'Reilly "included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter", the Times reports.

21st Century Fox settled nearly all these cases, paying out close to $100 million.

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Neither O'Reilly or Wiehl could be reached immediately for comment. It's believed to be the biggest by far of at least six payouts O'Reilly made to settle complaints. The producer was sacked by his own company earlier this month after the Times revealed three decades of alleged sexual harassment and assault by Weinstein.

"The company subsequently acted based on the terms of this contract", the statement continued.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox defended its decision because it said he had settled the matter personally. "Hypocrisy much?" Lemon wrote on Twitter, tagging both O'Reilly and Fox News. Fredric S. Newman, O'Reilly's lawyer, said the company was eager to have the host stay on after the departure of Megyn Kelly, another of the most popular Fox News personalities, and initiated the negotiations. According to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media, it brought in $147.13 million in advertising revenue in 2016.

The settlement is one of the biggest in recent memory, topping even the $20 million payment received by former Fox News host, Gretchen Carlson, who sued the late Fox News boss Roger Ailes, after alleging she was harassed.

O'Reilly was seen on camera on Fox News telling legal commentator Wiehl, "Hey, you know, Lis, I got you this job". Those steps include "installing new leadership, overhauling management and on-air talent, expanding training, and increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination".



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