Fox kept Bill O'Reilly despite $32M sexual harassment settlement

OCT. 1 2015 FILE

OCT. 1 2015 FILE

According to the report, 21st Century Fox nonetheless offered a four-year contract extension worth $25 million to O'Reilly in February of this year - only for the now-former ex-Fox to be ushered out the door in April.

The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed the contract after O'Reilly reached a $32 million settlement. It also said O'Reilly and the woman had agreed the financial terms would be kept confidential. The previous highest was reported to be former anchor Gretchen Carlson's $20 million deal after suing Fox News head Roger Ailes in 2016.

The allegations against O'Reilly included "repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material" to a longtime network analyst, according to a New York Times article published on Saturday, October 21.

"It's horrifying to think that any company would dismiss an employee following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and then allow him back on the air a few months later", Carlson said in a statement on Saturday.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel", 21st Century Fox said in a statement at the time.

This is the first time this new O'Reilly agreement has been revealed and it's at least the sixth one made by O'Reilly - or the company - to settle harassment allegations against him. The 77-year-old Ailes died in Palm Beach, Florida, last May.

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In a statement, 21st Century Fox said it was not privy to the amount of O'Reilly's January settlement with 15-year Fox News analyst Wiehl, and regarded it as a personal issue between the two of them.

21st Century Fox settled nearly all these cases, paying out close to $100 million.

Amid the turmoil, 21st Century Fox had been facing legal and regulatory pressure, particularly its need to improve its image while seeking approval from British regulators to buy the European satellite company Sky.

"Mr Fabiani addresses everything but what the story actually says".

In its first article about Mr. O'Reilly on April 1, The New York Times printed inaccurate settlement figures while fully understanding that O'Reilly and his counsel are legally bound by confidentiality and can not set the record straight. But the $32 million settlement reached in January has not been reported previously. "These changes come from the top, with Lachlan and James Murdoch personally leading the effort to promote civility and respect on the job, while maintaining the company's long-held commitment to a diverse, inclusive and creative workplace".

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