2017-04-19 21:19:14 UTC
Some of the allegations against the newly ousted 'O'Reilly
Factor' host, dating back to the early 2000s
Bill O'Reilly was ousted from Fox News Wednesday.
The Bill O'Reilly era at Fox News has drawn to a close. Fox
ended its relationship with its highest-rated star Wednesday
after The New York Times reported that the anchor and the
network have paid more than $13 million to settle harassment
claims against O'Reilly since 2002.
On Wednesday, the company released a statement explaining that
"[a]fter 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 Fox News Channel." Multiple outlets are
reporting that Tucker Carlson will take over O'Reilly's time
slot starting on Monday.
The O'Reilly Factor had averaged four million viewers a night
in 2017 the show's highest ratings ever. After the Times
report, viewership stayed strong increasing, even but
dozens of advertisers pulled scheduled spots from O'Reilly's
timeslot, not wanting to be associated with the accusations
against the embattled host. Replacing O'Reilly will be no small
feat for Fox; since he went on vacation last week, Factor
ratings have dropped 23 percent with guest hosts.
O'Reilly is the second high-profile figure forced out of Fox by
a series of sexual harassment accusations within the last year.
The network's founding CEO, Roger Ailes, resigned over the
summer after more than 20 women came forward accusing him of
sexual harassment and psychological torture over the course of
his two-decade tenure.
The Fox News led by Ailes and figureheaded by O'Reilly was,
according to the lawsuits and media reports, a nightmare
factory for the women who worked there. On-air talent, guests
and behind-the-scenes employees were often subjected to lewd
comments, aggressive sexual advances and verbal abuse, then
threatened or ignored when they came forward to report it.
Here are some of the accusations against O'Reilly, dating back
to the early 2000s.
Bill O'Reilly, tv columnist, at left, shown here with Roger
Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX tv at the Radio & TV
Correspondents annual dinner held at the Washington Hilton.
Bill O'Reilly with Roger Ailes Susan Biddle/Getty
O'Reilly angrily berated a junior producer named Rachel Witlieb
Bernstein in front of the newsroom, according to an internal
investigation conducted by the network and first reported by
The New York Times. Bernstein left Fox with a small settlement
shortly after the incident.
O'Reilly Factor producer Andrea Mackris filed suit, accusing
O'Reilly of sexual harassment and seeking $60 million in
damages. Her lawyers contended that the host subjected her to
inappropriate stories about his sex life on multiple occasions,
told her to buy a vibrator and repeatedly described his sexual
fantasies over the phone while masturbating. (Mackris
apparently recorded several of their conversations.) According
to the lawsuit, O'Reilly fantasized in graphic detail about
whisking Mackris away to the Caribbean, where people "shed
their inhibitions"; described his desire to take a falafel and
"put it on [her] pussy"; regaled her with stories of his
purported sexual escapades with a Scandinavian flight attendant
and a Thai sex worker; and propositioned her and her college
roommate one night over dinner.
O'Reilly preemptively filed suit against Mackris the same day,
alleging extortion. The two settled out of court for a reported
$9 million one week later. When they did, O'Reilly told his
audience, "This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I
will never speak of it again."
O'Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy, his wife of 14 years separated;
they divorced the next year. According to court documents
unearthed by Gawker, O'Reilly went on the warpath against
McPhilmy: He mounted a campaign to get fired her new boyfriend
and later husband, a Nassau County police officer. According to
court documents, O'Reilly may have hired the couple's court-
appointed mediator as a nanny. And finally, Gawker reported
that O'Reilly appeared to have used his considerable influence
with the Catholic archdiocese to have his wife reprimanded for
taking communion even though she divorced and remarried.
Rebecca Gomez Diamond, host of the Fox show Happy Hour, sued
O'Reilly after her contract with the network ran out, alleging
harassment similar to that reported by Mackris years earlier.
Like Mackris, Gomez Diamond recorded her conversations with
O'Reilly. They eventually agreed he would personally pay her an
undisclosed amount to settle the claim.
O'Reilly's daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner
that she witnessed her father choking her mother and dragging
her down a set of stairs by her neck. She described O'Reilly's
fits of rage as "scary and demeaning," and said they would
sometimes make her cry. (O'Reilly called the accusations "100%
false"; the court would later strip him of custody of both his
After Ailes' public ouster in August 2016, Fox News settled
sexual harassment claims involving O'Reilly and two former
employees. The first was Fox anchor Laurie Dhue, who complained
the Factor host of sexual harassment and settled for $1
million. The other was Juliet Huddy, co-host of Fox & Friends
First, Fox & Friends Weekend and DaySide, who alleged O'Reilly
made passes at her and tried to have her fired when she
rejected them. Huddy also said, like both Mackris and Diamond
before her, that O'Reilly called her on the phone while audibly
masturbating. Fox News settled that claim, too, covering both
O'Reilly's legal fees and playing Huddy a reported $1.6
Former Fox personality Andrea Tantaros said in a lawsuit filed
in August that O'Reilly invited her to his "very private" home
on Long Island and would often say he could tell she had a
"wild" side. Her lawyer told The Times Fox offered Tantaros a
seven-figure sum to settle in arbitration, but she refused.
Wendy Walsh, a frequent guest on The O'Reilly Factor, told The
Times O'Reilly dangled a lucrative contract as a Fox
contributor over dinner, then snatched it back when she refused
to go to his hotel room with him. She soon stopped receiving
invitations to appear on his show as well.
A former Fox News employee came forward the day before O'Reilly
was fired to report the Fox host harassed her while she worked
for another of the network's shows in 2008. According to her
lawyer, "He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to
grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would
always do this when no one else was around and she was
scared." The woman, who is black, said O'Reilly called her "hot