Fox to investigate sexual harassment complaint against Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly. (CC 3.0)

21st Century Fox will investigate allegations of sexual abuse by Bill O’Reilly, according to civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom and reported by CNN on Sunday.

Bloom’s client, Wendy Walsh, accused O’Reilly of breaking a promise to get her a job at Fox News after she rejected his unprofessional advances. Bloom appeared on CNN’s "Reliable Sources" on Sunday and said that someone from 21st Century Fox told her that an investigation would take place.

21st Century Fox told CNN Money that the company "investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters."


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Until now, O’Reilly, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox had said almost nothing about the recent New York Times report that five women received about $13 million from O’Reilly or Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, to settle allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by O’Reilly.

“In 2013, I experienced sexual harassment as a job applicant at Fox News channel by an employee named Mr. Bill O’Reilly,” Walsh said in a YouTube video recording of her phone call to the Fox complaint hotline. “At the beginning of the dinner, he made a point of telling me that his best friend was the chairman, Roger Ailes, and they wanted to offer me a job as a contributor on his show. At the end of the dinner he said ‘Let’s get out of here,’ and I thought he meant, let’s go to the bar and continue talking about my career and to get more career advice. But he started walking in a different direction, and when he turned around to find me, he said, ‘No, let’s go to my suite.’”

Walsh said in the video that she declined O’Reilly’s invitation and that soon after, he became “hostile” and told her she could forget about any career advice he had given previously, and that she was on her own.

Last year, Fox News founder and former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned following his own sexual harassment scandal, which 21st Century Fox investigated, issued a public apology for, and agreed to pay a settlement of $20 million to plaintiff Gretchen Carlson in September, The New York Times reported.

Ailes received $40 million from Fox following the scandal, in an “exit agreement.”

Fox News accounts for a large portion of 21st Century Fox’s profits, according to the Times. O’Reilly’s top-rated cable news show, "The O’Reilly Factor," brought in about $178 million in advertising revenue in 2015. As of Thursday, Fox had lost more than 60 advertisers from "The O’Reilly Factor," Motto reported.

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