Fox News Rewards Bill O’Reilly In Face Of Harassment Lawsuits
“Mr. O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility”
A week ago, it seemed as if Bill O’Reilly’s career was over. Today, he’s richer than ever.
How much is Bill O’Reilly worth to the Fox News Channel? Apparently, he’s so valuable to the cable news network that they have reportedly renewed his lucrative contract just days after it was revealed they’ve already spent more than $13 million to settle a number of sexual harassment claims against the 67-year-old political commentator.
O’Reilly reportedly paid more than $10 million of his own personal fortune to settle those allegations. In a statement defending O’Reilly, Fox News said, “While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr. O’Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.”
Wendy Walsh, a former Fox News on-air contributor claims she was fired after she refused a sexual proposition from O’Reilly, which came during the same conversation in which he’d promised Walsh she was about to be given a new paid deal to appear on his show.
The harassment settlements landed on top of a bombshell last week, in which a growing chorus of industry professionals called on Fox to fire O’Reilly after he made racist and sexist comments about Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during an appearance on the Fox and Friends morning show.
Fox News declined to comment on The Wall Street Journal report on O’Reilly’s rumored contract extension, but his most recent deal was estimated to be worth more than $18 million annually. And if the extension report is true, it’s an eyebrow-raising decision that opens them to even more criticism about how they treat their top-rated host. O’Reilly has been the dominant face of Fox News’ prime time lineup for over a decade—though there had been rumors he was considering a departure from the network over a contract dispute, and due to the success of his ever-expanding portfolio of best-selling books.