Bill O'Reilly, loudmouth host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, was accused of sexual harassment by a fellow Fox employee—but network executives hushed up the accusation and settled for a six-figure fee, according to a report from the New York Times. According to the story, the incident occurred only weeks after former Fox chairman Roger Ailes was ousted due to a sexual harassment scandal. The event was described in a letter sent from the lawyers of Fox employee Juliet Huddy to the network brass. From the NYT:
The letter includes allegations that Mr. O’Reilly had called Ms. Huddy repeatedly and that it sometimes sounded like he was masturbating. He invited her to his house on Long Island, tried to kiss her, took her to dinner and the theater, and after asking her to return a key to his hotel room, appeared at the door in his boxer shorts, according to the letter.
In exchange for her silence and agreement not to sue, she was paid a sum in the high six figures, according to people briefed on the agreement. The agreement was between Ms. Huddy and 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News. The company and Mr. O’Reilly’s lawyer said her allegations were false.
O'Reilly's lawyers still contend that Huddy's claims are false, as well as a Fox News spokesperson who said, “Juliet Huddy’s letter of intent to sue contained substantial falsehoods which were vehemently denied by Bill O’Reilly." Though interestingly, the settlement was reportedly made at about the same time the company was making other agreements to hush up employees, including former anchor Gretchen Carlson, whose accusations brought down Ailes. The story goes on to list various examples of harassment that Huddy says she endured, as well as retaliation from O'Reilly when she denied his alleged icky advances. READ THE WHOLE THING HERE.
[FUN FACT: For those new to town, Bill O'Reilly used to be a news anchor at Portland's KATU back in the mid-80s, where he was considered "pompous" but not "dishonest."]