Wow, FOX News must have been quite the place to be…if you were a male and into sexual harassment.
We already know that the culture of sexual harassment led to Roger Ailes getting the boot as the chairman of FOX News last summer. (Vanity Fair’s reporting of Ailes final days at FOX is worth your time.)
Today, we found out that former female FOX News employees claim the man who always tells the truth (wink wink) was keen to get randy with the babes. But, as the New York Times reported, it wasn’t until after Ailes was gone that FOX News big shots got around to settling one claim against Brash Bill.
The employee, Juliet Huddy, had said that Mr. O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011, at a time he exerted significant influence over her career. When she rebuffed his advances, he tried to derail her career, according to a draft of a letter from her lawyers to Fox News that was obtained by The New York Times.
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. The agreement was between Ms. Huddy and 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News. The company and Mr. O’Reilly’s lawyer said her allegations were false. …
But Mr. O’Reilly had run into problems before. In 2004, a producer on his show, Andrea Mackris, sued him, asserting that he had made unwanted sexual advances and lewd comments in a series of phone calls and dinner conversations. According to the suit, Mr. O’Reilly told her on multiple occasions to buy a vibrator, called her when it sounded like he was masturbating and described various sexual fantasies.
After two weeks of sensational headlines in New York’s tabloid newspapers, Mr. O’Reilly settled for millions of dollars, according to people briefed on the agreement. Both sides said that no wrongdoing had occurred.
If Fox News viewers cared about workplace sexual harassment at their favorite cable network, they would have fled over the summer, when a flurry of allegations about Ailes’s abusive approach to his female colleagues surfaced — most of them uncontested by the higher-ups who stayed on following Ailes’s departure. Amid all that negative reporting, Fox News finished the year with historic ratings victories.
Care to guess how smug O’Reilly is likely to be?