Fox

The Fox News payout to dismissed star Bill O’Reilly is estimated to be about $25 million – about a year’s pay under a new contract he signed only weeks ago.

O’Reilly was forced out after anchoring the network’s flagship show for two decades amid claims by a dozen women of sexual harassment. The complaints range from staring, leering and grunting to inappropriate comments, and, in the case of his ex-wife, choking.

The New York Times reported earlier this month O’Reilly or Fox had paid out some $13 million to settle complaints by five women over the years.

O’Reilly issued a statement denying he did anything wrong.

“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television,” he said. “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

Among the known complaints:

  • In 2002, O’Reilly “stormed into the Fox newsroom and screamed at a young producer,” Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, who, not long after, “left the network with a payout.”
  • In 2004, O’Reilly, was sued for sexual harassment by 33-year-old Andrea Mackris, who formerly worked on “The O’Reilly Factor.” In 2004, the Smoking Gun published the text of the complaint filed by Mackris, who was then an associate producer at Fox News. Mackris also recorded O’Reilly trying to entice her into having phone sex. O’Reilly can be heard offering to rub her down with a “falafel,” and he was widely mocked by a stunned public not only for his sex talk, but for also confusing the food item with a “loofah” sponge. That lawsuit was settled in 2004 for $9 million.
  • The accusations weren’t limited to the workplace. The Daily Beast reported court documents show he “may have engaged in domestic violence” during a custody battle with former wife Maureen McPhilmy that started in 2010. Their daughter, years later as the dispute continued, “told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly ‘choking her mom,'” reports said.
  • Then comes 2011, when, the Times said, Rebecca Gomez Diamond, brought out conversations with O’Reilly she had recorded at a time when her contract was not being renewed. Diamond left the network with an unknown payout and was bound by a confidentiality agreement, according to the Times.
  • In 2015, it was attorneys for former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue who claimed harassment, and the case was settled for more than $1 million.
  • At about the same time, the Times said, “Fox reached a $1.6 million settlement with Juliet Huddy, a regular guest on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Huddy’s lawyers alleged that O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011.
  • Fox host Andrea Tantaros filed suit in 2016 claiming O’Reilly made sexually suggestive comments to her. Her lawsuit stated: “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”
  • This year, Los Angeles radio personality Wendy Walsh went public with her claim O’Reilly invited her to go to his hotel suite in 2013. Walsh said she was able to discuss her claim because she was not bound by a confidentiality agreement, as many women reportedly are, the AP reported.
  • In addition, this week Perquita Burgess alleged O’Reilly leered and grunted at her, and then called her “hot chocolate.” She reportedly called the 21st Century Fox hotline to formally report her claims, and also appeared on a television talk show with her lawyer, Lisa Bloom.
  • And former Fox News staffers Margaret Hoover, Alisyn Camerota and Kirsten Powers this week made accusations against O’Reilly as his vaunted place at Fox was collapsing. Reported the Daily Beast: “Former frequent O’Reilly Factor guest and Fox contributor Margaret Hoover described working to never be alone with O’Reilly, given his penchant for inappropriate behavior. Her CNN colleague Alisyn Camerota – a former host of ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ – explained how sexual harassment at Fox ‘wasn’t the half of it.’ And Kirsten Powers, another ex-Fox Newser now at CNN, recalled complaining about O’Reilly’s lecherous behavior and being told to simply accept Bill as a relic of the old-school workplace.”

“The O’Reilly Factor” had averaged 4 million viewers each night – the highest ratings ever for the show.

But dozens of advertisers had abandoned the show in response to the harassment claims.

Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”

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