Bill O'Reilly Reportedly Paid $32 Million Settlement in Sexual Harassment Suit

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson called the network's decision to allow Bill O'Reilly on the air "horrifying and outrageous" after he settled a whopping $32 million sexual harassment lawsuit.

Bill O'Reilly's ousting from Fox News followed an advertiser exodus prompted by revelations of five settlements (totaling $13 million) paid by O'Reilly and Fox News to sexual harassment accusers.

Yet what makes the piece published by the Times Saturday such a bombshell is that it reveals Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, knew about the settlement before granting O'Reilly a four-year extension on his contract that paid $25 million a year.

Even though company executives were aware of O'Reilly's alleged transgressions, they planned to keep him on at the company and extended his contract in February. Wiehl claimed that she been subject to a pattern of behavior that included "harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her", according to people familiar with the settlement.

"This is crap, and you know it", O'Reilly told the Times, when asked about the settlement.

O'Reilly wrapped up the allegations this January in a quick 15 days from when the lawsuit was drafted.

At the time, Fox News was trying to overcome negative press from the scandal surrounding the network's founder and CEO Roger Ailes.

[F] ederal prosecutors who had been investigating the network's handling of sexual harassment complaints against Mr. Ailes had asked for material related to allegations involving Mr. O'Reilly, according to an internal Fox email obtained by The Times.

The Times story reports that the settlement it reported on today was at least the sixth "and by far the largest" made by either O'Reilly or 21 Century Fox to settle harassment claims. Writing on the ties between O'Reilly and Weinstein, the Times's Jim Rutenberg notes that, "a full, public airing did not come to be until those meddling reporters came along". Fredric S. Newman, O'Reilly's lawyer, said the company was eager to have the host stay on after the departure of Megyn Kelly, another of the most popular Fox News personalities, and initiated the negotiations.

"This is covering up, this is enablers, this is shutting up the victims", she said".

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