Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has decided to part ways with star cable news host Bill O'Reilly whose show The O’Reilly Factor has been getting the news channel millions of dollars in revenue, following allegations of sexual harassment, the company said on Wednesday.
“After 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 the Fox News Channel,” the company said in a statement.
New York Times had earlier reported that Fox News paid $13 million to five women in exchange for them to drop their litigations to retain Reilly's No 1 program.
O'Reilly who is a supporter of US President Donald Trump (who also happens to be accused of sexual harassment) said in a statement issued on 1 April that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence.
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.
Marc Kasowitz, O'Reilly's lawyer, said O’Reilly "has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America."
Fox News did not comment about how O'Reilly might be replaced.
(With inputs from NBC News and Reuters)