Published: Wed, October 25, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

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

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

O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor, was ousted from the news channel in April amid reports he'd settled multiple suits to the tune of $13 million.

In response to a New York Times story published Saturday, 21st Century Fox says it knew of the settlement but not the monetary amount. Now the NY Times reports that Fox News had extended O'Reilly's contract by four years, at $25 million a year, right after O'Reilly paid $32 million to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Times reports O'Reilly reached a settlement worth $32 million with Lis Wiehl, a longtime Fox News legal analyst. O'Reilly hasn't exactly been exiled from Fox News either - he recently appeared on Sean Hannity's show, where he lamented not fighting harder to keep his job.

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.

However, the Times says that while Wiehl signed an agreement to say she had no claims against O'Reilly-and that all emails between her and O'Reilly were under her capacity as his lawyer-this was only after the settlement was made.

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O'Reilly reportedly settled a $32 million lawsuit, which the network was aware of when it resigned him earlier this year.

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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.

Given the attention that Fox News hosts have paid to the Weinstein story, it will be interesting to see whether O'Reilly's massive settlement receives much, or any, coverage from the network's primetime opinionators and moralists. "They 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", according to the Times.

Gretchen Carlson, who received $20 million previous year after claims against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, tweeted her take on the matter: "Nobody pays $32m for false allegations - nobody". O'Reilly was sacked in April over initial reports of his settlements with five women over similar allegations.

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