(WASHINGTON POST) — All at once, Bill O’Reilly is fighting for his TV life. The future of O’Reilly’s long career at Fox News may hinge on a sexual-harassment accusation raised by a woman named Wendy Walsh, who has alleged that O’Reilly propositioned her in a Los Angeles hotel in 2013, then retaliated against her when she rebuffed him.
Walsh, a Los Angeles radio personality and author who offers relationship advice, hasn’t sued or sought compensation — just validation that she and other women were wronged by the blunt-spoken host of “The O’Reilly Factor.” Her accusation came on top of the disclosure earlier this month that O’Reilly and Fox News have settled five harassment allegations since 2002, paying $13 million to former network employees for their silence.
Yet Walsh’s allegation is potentially the most explosive of all: Fox News was apparently unaware of it until she raised it for the first time in an interview with the New York Times this month. Her complaint has triggered an investigation at Fox by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the same firm that uncovered widespread harassment allegations against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes last summer, leading to his ouster. A similar fate could await O’Reilly; a negative finding by the law firm could force the hands of Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, who run Fox’s parent company.
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