In a new report out Saturday morning in the New York Times, it turns out that disgraced former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly settled ANOTHER sexual harassment claim from a co-worker earlier this year... for a whopping $32 million.
O'Reilly was sacked by Fox News in April following the Times' report that he had been involved in settlements of harassment and sexual harassment claims with five women totaling $13 million, dating back to 2002.
Six days after Fox's general counsel, according to the email, informed the Murdochs that details of the January settlement were expected to become public, O'Reilly was sacked. 21st Century Fox confirmed the settlement to the Times but wouldn't speak to the dollar amount. That decision hinged on two factors: limiting the negative publicity that a second sexual harassment scandal - coming as the network grappled with fallout from the allegations against former chairman Roger Ailes - would bring, and Megyn Kelly's announcement that she would be leaving the network after signing a multi-year contract with NBC.
You can read the whole New York Times report here.
21st Century Fox said in a statement on the matter, "When the company renewed Bill O'Reilly's contract in February, it knew that a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, but was informed by Mr. O'Reilly that he had settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and Ms. Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the company".
O'Reilly was ultimately ousted from the network in April, following an exodus of advertisers from his show's time slot.
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It emphasized that provisions were added to the new contract that allowed for his dismissal if new allegations or other relevant information arose.
Regarding O'Reilly's contract extension, the company said Fox News "surely would have wanted to renew" O'Reilly's contract, noting that "he was the biggest star in cable TV".
However, O'Reilly refused to specifically comment on Wiehl.
The latest woman to accuse O'Reilly is Lis Wiehl, who had been a legal analyst for the network for 15 years.
However, the timing of the Wiehl settlement paints a damning picture of Fox leadership's willingness to keep O'Reilly in the fold despite its public statements about its efforts to ensure that 21st Century Fox divisions fostered a healthy and inclusive working environment for all employees. The Times also viewed a copy of a document partly outlining the agreement and other documents related to the dispute, and received answers to written questions from Twenty-First Century Fox.