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Fox News Reportedly Settled Sexual Harassment Claims Against Bill O’Reilly

Variety logo Variety 1/10/2017 Ted Johnson
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Fox News settled claims of sexual harassment by a longtime employee against Bill O’Reilly, shortly after the network’s chairman, Roger Ailes, was removed from his post as he faced similar allegations, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

According to the Times, the employee, Juliet Huddy, claimed that O’Reilly sought sexual relations with her, and set out to hurt her career when she refused his advances. The Times obtained a draft of a letter that was sent from her lawyers to Fox News.

A spokeswoman for Fox News, O’Reilly’s agent, and O’Reilly’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But the Times reported that 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, as well as O’Reilly’s lawyer, have called the allegations false.

The Times reported that 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.”

The settlement was in the high six figures and was made between Huddy and 21st Century Fox.

Ailes left Fox after 21st Century Fox launched an internal review over allegations that he sexually harassed employees. Gretchen Carlson, a former on-air personality, filed suit last summer, claiming Ailes harassed her, and her lawsuit was later settled.

News of the settlement was first reported by LawNewz.

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