A YEAR ago Bill O’Reilly was being honoured as one of the most powerful people in New York media but now, his longstanding position as the number one man in cable news is in jeopardy.
According to new reports from The Wall Street Journal, Fox News are “ready to cut ties” with their star anchor after a number of women accused him of sexual harassment.
“A final decision on Mr O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days,” they reported.
An investigation by The New York Times in early April found a total of five women had received payouts from parent company 21st Century Fox by agreeing to keep quiet or not pursue legal proceedings over alleged harassment.
According to the publication, the payouts have totalled close to $US13 million.
Documents detail complaints about verbal abuse, unwanted advances, offensive comments and phone calls from the anchor that sounded as if O’Reilly was masturbating.
Yesterday, an African American receptionist alleged she was harassed by O’Reilly claiming he used to leer at her and call her “hot chocolate”.
Lawyer Lisa Bloom helped the woman report her alleged harassment, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar”.
Adding: “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”
Bloom is also representing radio host Wendy Walsh, who alleges she was forced off the show after she refused an invite to O’Reilly’s hotel room in 2013.
Since the allegations, at least 44 companies have pulled their ads from airing during his show.
And, on Tuesday, women’s rights groups stood outside Fox Newsin New York to protest and call for his resignation or firing.
O’Reilly’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who has also worked for Donald Trump for years, has since condemned the allegations in a statement.
“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations,” it read.
The journalist has been with Fox News for over 20 years and his show The O’Reilly Factor has been the most-watched cable news show for 16 years — it averaged 3.3 million viewers a night last year.
O’Reilly has been on a pre-planned holiday since April 11 and, if the reports of his imminent exit are untrue, will return to air on April 24.
SOURCE: newsnow entertainment