Embattled host Bill O’Reilly has been let go by the Fox News Channel, 21st Century Fox confirmed Wednesday.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the company said in a brief statement.
Bill O’Reilly released a statement later Wednesday afternoon:
Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.
An internal memo to Fox employees was obtained by NBC News:
In April 2017, The New York Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News had settled five lawsuits against O’Reilly dating back to 2002. Previously, only two settlements were publicly reported; The Times reported that Fox hosts Rebecca Diamond and Laurie Dhue settled sexual harassment lawsuits in 2011 and 2016 respectively and junior producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein settled with Fox in 2002 after accusing O’Reilly of verbal abuse.
The amount paid to the women filing the complaints was estimated at $13 million. The Times also reported a claim by former O’Reilly Factor guest Wendy Walsh, who declined an offer from O’Reilly to go to his hotel suite.