Bill Oreilly Sexual Harassment: What Happened with Bill Oreilly?
Another high-profile sex scandal in which women were harassed came to light last January. This involved Bill O’Reilly, a top-rated host at Fox studios. He entered into a $32 million agreement with a network analyst, and the information has been corroborated by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox.
21st Century Fox said that they were aware of the complaints made by the woman against Mr. O’Reilly. According to the woman, Lis Wiehl, O'Reilly repeatedly harassed her, had a sexual relationship that was non-consensual with her, and kept sending to her gay pornography and various other explicitly vulgar material.
It is reliably learned that this was the sixth as well as the largest agreement either by the company or by Mr. O’Reilly for settling harassment allegations leveled against him. Despite this explosive sexual harassment dispute, and though these allegations almost cost him his job, 21st Century Fox had given a four-year extension to him.
What was O’Reilly's reaction to the allegations?
When he was interviewed, Mr. O’Reilly said defiantly that there was not even a modicum of truth in the allegations leveled against him. He added that he had not mistreated anyone ever and that he always ensured to resolve matters privately since his aim was to keep his children protected from unnecessary publicity.
According to him, the allegations were financially and politically motivated and he could prove this with information that could be shocking. But he did not want to sit in a courtroom for years and let his kids experience the onslaught of the hostile press. Very importantly, he specifically refused to address questions that pertained to the settlement made either with Ms. Wiehl or with others.
Fredric S. Newman, lawyer of Mr. O’Reilly’s lawyer said that the relationship between his client and Ms. Wiehl was an 18-year friendship and that she used to provide him with legal advice on certain occasions. Mark Fabiani, another representative of Mr. O’Reilly, pointed out that even 21st Century Fox was also aware that there was a sworn affidavit signed by Ms. Wiehl in which she had renounced all the allegations against his client. Mark Fabiani further added that only after receiving this document, Fox News had offered his client a contract that broke all the records.
What are the other sexual harassment issues that Mr. O'Reilly settled earlier?
The settlement agreement entered into with Ms. Wiehl is said to be three times more than the other deals Mr. O'Reilly closed for settling the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him. In 2004, there was a lawsuit between him and Andrea Mackris, a producer, and he settled this for approximately $9 million. The total of all the publicly known settlements made by Mr. O'Reilly is now around $45 million and the deal with Ms. Wiehl is the highest.
BTW, who is Ms. Wiehl?
It was in 2001 Ms. Wiehl, who graduated from the Harvard Law School, had begun to make regular appearances on the shows of Mr. O'Reilly. It was in September the same year she landed the job of a legal analyst on Fox News. According to Ms. Wiehl, Mr. O'Reilly suggested in one of the segments of his show that she owed him big because he was the one who got her the job. To this, her answer was in the negative. But he continued to make suggestive remarks to her even on the air. Ms. Wiehl appeared on his show for the last time on Dec. 20, 2016. It was in January, she sent the draft of a law-suit to him.
After negotiations, Mr. O’Reilly could strike a deal with Ms. Wiehl for ensuring that she would not talk about the allegations and that all the photos and all the other communications including the text messages between them would be disposed of suitably by destroying them. Ms. Wiehl signed a sworn affidavit as well to the effect that she was renouncing all the allegations against Mr. O'Reilly.
Did the story end there?
Despite this agreement, 21st Century Fox decided to dismiss O'Reilly because they felt that matters pertaining to his sexual dispute and the settlement he made with Ms. Wiehl would negatively impact their deal with the Sky Satellite Company. Of course, Mr. O'Reilly continues to deny the allegations made against him.