The New York Times is reporting that, around the time that Roger Ailes was ousted from the network for sexually harassing employees, Fox News secretly struck a settlement agreement with another employee over sexual harassment allegations she brought against Bill O’Reilly. The basis of the report comes from several anonymous sources, plus the letter detailing the allegations, and three pages of the settlement agreement sent to the Times in December, which has been verified.
This settlement involved Juliet Huddy, who said that Bill O’Reilly pursued a relationship with her in 2011. She declined his advances, and he reportedly tried to derail her career.
The letter includes allegations that Mr. O’Reilly had called Ms. Huddy repeatedly and that it sometimes sounded like he was masturbating. He invited her to his house on Long Island, tried to kiss her, took her to dinner and the theater, and after asking her to return a key to his hotel room, appeared at the door in his boxer shorts, according to the letter.
In exchange for her silence and agreement not to sue, she was paid a sum in the high six figures, according to people briefed on the agreement.
O’Reilly is not only gross, but unsurprisingly, he’s also an asshole.
In January 2011, Mr. O’Reilly invited Ms. Huddy to lunch near his multimillion-dollar home in Manhasset, Long Island, according to the letter. After lunch, he drove her back to his home, where he showed her every room, including his bedroom, and his collection of presidential memorabilia.
“To shock and disgust, as Ms. Huddy was saying goodbye to Mr. O’Reilly, he quickly moved in and kissed her on the lips,” the letter said. “Ms. Huddy was so taken aback and repulsed that she instinctively recoiled and actually fell to the ground. Mr. O’Reilly, looking amused, did not even help Ms. Huddy up.”
Dick move, O’Reilly, or as Kristy said: “He probably thought it was a sign of his prowess. ‘DAMN. Literally knocked her off her dumb broad feet!’”
At other moments, O’Reilly also left Huddy a key to his hotel room; tried to hold her hand during a Broadway play; and called her frequently. She was afraid to report him because she feared retaliation. She had, for instance, had two segments on his show replaced, and according to the letter, he berated her over minor mistakes.
O’Reilly also faced sexual harassment allegations back in 2004, when he was sued by Andrea Mackis, with whom he also reportedly masturbated on the phone.
The settlement agreement with Huddy included a $500,000 fine for each instance she broke confidentiality.
O’Reilly and Fox News deny the allegations.