The Fox News Channel is reportedly prepared to cut all ties with it’s top host Bill O’Reilly.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news: A final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days, the people said. Mr. O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” has been ensnared in a sexual-harassment scandal related to previously undisclosed settlements he and Fox News paid to women who worked on or appeared on his program.
On Tuesday, an attorney for Mr. O’Reilly said the host has “been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America” and added that it has “evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons.”
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 the settlements to Mackris and Huddy 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.