Bill O’Reilly Proves Being Sexual Predator Is Costly, FOX News Already Paid Out $13 Million For Lewd Behavior
Above the fold in the Sunday edition of The New York Times. POW! Solid reporting. By the sourcing it is easy to tell this story has been worked on for some time.
Behind the scenes Fox News has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.
An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.
The reporting suggests a pattern: As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr. O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally. He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.
Besides the women who reached settlements, two other women have spoken of inappropriate behavior by the host. A former regular guest on his show, Wendy Walsh, told The Times that after she rebuffed an advance from him he didn’t follow through on a verbal offer to secure her a lucrative position at the network. And a former Fox News host named Andrea Tantaros said Mr. O’Reilly sexually harassed her in a lawsuit she filed last summer against the network and Mr. Ailes.
Details on the allegations against Mr. O’Reilly and the company’s handling of them are based on more than five dozen interviews with current and former employees of Fox News and its former and current parent companies, News Corporation and 21st Century Fox; representatives for the network; and people close to Mr. O’Reilly and the women. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing confidentiality agreements and fear of retaliation. The Times also examined more than 100 pages of documents and court filings related to the complaints.
Ms. Walsh, the former guest on Mr. O’Reilly’s show, said his offer to make her a contributor never materialized after she declined an invitation to go to his hotel suite after a dinner in 2013. “I feel bad that some of these old guys are using mating strategies that were acceptable in the 1950s and are not acceptable now,” she said. “I hope young men can learn from this.”
She said romantic relationships at the workplace “should never happen when there is an imbalance of power and colleagues shouldn’t unwittingly be manipulated into obtaining sex for somebody.”
Just over a week ago, Mr. O’Reilly hired the crisis communications expert Mark Fabiani — who worked in the Clinton White House — to respond to The Times.