Bill O'Reilly settled another sexual harassment claim for $32 million

21st Century Fox Defends Bill O'Reilly Contract Renewal After New Sexual Harassment Settlement

Bill O'Reilly's attorney released a statement Saturday slamming a report in The New York Times that his client reached a $32 million accord with a Fox News analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations before Fox extended his contract for four more years.

Wiehl accused O'Reilly of harassment and "a nonconsensual sexual relationship", according to the Times, which cited unnamed sources briefed on the settlement.

Despite this, in February 21st Century Fox went forward with contract negotiations to renew O'Reilly with the network with a $25 million per year salary.

The New York Times reported Saturday that executives at 21st Century Fox were aware of the sexually graphic complaints made by former colleague Lis Wiehl before giving O'Reilly his big payday in February.

"His new contract, which was made at a time typical for renewals of multi-year talent contracts, added protections for the company specifically aimed at harassment, including that Mr. O'Reilly could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations or if additional relevant information was obtained in a company investigation". O'Reilly hasn't exactly been exiled from Fox News either - he recently appeared on Sean Hannity's show, where he lamented not fighting harder to keep his job.




As part of the deal, Wiehl agreed to destroy all photos, text messages and other communications between the two, the Times reported.

O'Reilly, in a combative interview with the Times, insisted he had done nothing wrong and only settled to spare his children from the publicity surrounding a trial.

He was forced to resign in April following a raft of sexual harassment allegations. The Times reports that Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, were adamant at the time to retain the popular host, as they had just seen the departure of Megyn Kelly. The five agreements reportedly amounted to $13 million, and included a 2004 payment by O'Reilly to a former Fox producer named Andrea Mackris for $9 million.

Network executives later made the decision to fire O'Reilly in April because details about the January settlement were slated to become public, according to the Times. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel". At the time, the company had undertaken internal steps to root out and address complaints of employee harassment. O'Reilly was not only the network's marquee attraction, but his program was the single largest source of advertising revenue for Fox News, which is the most consistent profit center for 21st Century. The new round of harassment allegations also seemed to threaten British approval of 21st Century's multibillion-dollar purchase of Sky Broadcasting, a British-based satellite service.

Wiehl appeared regularly on O'Reilly's program for 15 years, and said in her affidavit that she had worked with him, socialized with him and offered legal advice over an 18-year period.

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