Saturday morning, the New York Times released the news that five women have received settlements totaling $13 million for their sexual harrassment claims against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
In exchange, the women agreed to drop all litigation against O’Reilly, and refrain from discussing their claims.
The claims and settlement payments extend out over several years, with two known cases occurring in 2004 and 2016, and involve either women who had appeared as guests on his program or worked for him at Fox News.
Allegations reportedly included verbal abuse, indecent phone calls, lewd comments and unwanted advances.
New York Times reported that the women have received settlement payments from either O’Reilly himself or Fox News.
O’Reilly released the following public statement on his website Saturday:
April 1, 2017
Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.
But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.
The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel. Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me.
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Settlement reached in Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment suit