O'Reilly Struck $32M Settlement In January Over Harassment Allegations

O'Reilly Struck $32M Settlement In January Over Harassment Allegations

O'Reilly Struck $32M Settlement In January Over Harassment Allegations

The paper reports Wiehl's attorneys sent a draft of a lawsuit to O'Reilly on January 2, and the parties reached a settlement a few days later.

During an interview with the Times on Wednesday, O'Reilly said, "I never mistreated anyone ..."

"Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman's complaints about Mr. O'Reilly".

Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox renewed Bill O'Reilly's contract in February even though company officials knew he'd settled a sexual harassment claim for $32 million the previous month, The New York Times reports.

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The newly disclosed allegations came from Lis Wiehl, a former legal analyst at Fox News who appeared on O'Reilly's show for more than 15 years.

Fox News extended O'Reilly's contract six weeks later, boosting his pay from $18 million to $25 million.

The star anchor was dismissed in April after the Times revealed that Fox News had paid about $13 million in settlements to bury numerous similar allegations over the years, sparking widespread outrage.

Carlson, who's gone on to pen an upcoming book on sexual harassment, condemned companies for settling claims or building arbitration clauses into an employee's contract in case a legal issue arose. They negotiated over the course of a few days and eventually reached an settlement, seen by The Times, promising $32 million paid out over a period of time in exchange for Ms. Wiehl's silence, the report said.

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The Times characterized the sum to Wiehl as "extraordinarily large".

Ms. Wiehl agreed to destroy all communications between her and Mr. O'Reilly and eventually signed an affidavit dated January 17 retracting the allegations and promising not to sue, the report said. Wiehl claimed that she been subject to a pattern of behavior that included "harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her", according to people familiar with the settlement. Company officials said they would have renewed O'Reilly's contract whether Kelly had stayed or not.

At the time, Fox News was trying to overcome negative press from the scandal surrounding the network's founder and CEO Roger Ailes. O'Reilly was sacked in April over initial reports of his settlements with five women over similar allegations.

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