NEW YORK, April 19 Fox News has decided to part
ways with star host Bill O'Reilly following allegations of
sexual harassment, New York magazine reported on Wednesday,
citing anonymous sources briefed on the discussions.
O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been
unfairly targeted because of his public prominence. Marc
Kasowitz, O'Reilly's lawyer, said in a statement on Tuesday that
the television host "has been subjected to a brutal campaign of
character assassination that is unprecedented in
It is not known exactly how Fox News will handle O'Reilly's
exit or whether he would be allowed to say goodbye to viewers on
the air, according to the New York magazine report.
Representatives at Fox News and its parent Twenty-First
Century Fox Inc were not immediately available for
comment. A representative for O'Reilly declined to comment.
The New York Times reported on April 1 that Fox and
O'Reilly, a 20-year veteran of the conservative cable network,
paid five women a total of $13 million to settle harassment
O'Reilly said in the statement at the time that he had
settled only to spare his children from the controversy.
After the report advertisers including BMW of North America
, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals maker
Sanofi SA and T. Rowe Price, pulled their
advertising from O'Reilly's primetime "The O'Reilly Factor"
The five women who received settlements either worked for
O'Reilly or appeared as guests on his program, according to the
New York Times story.
Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue accused O'Reilly and Fox News
founding chairman Roger Ailes of harassing her, but not
sexually, and Juliet Huddy, a regular guest on O'Reilly's show,
accused him of pursuing a sexual relationship with her and
trying to hamper her career after she rejected his advances, the
The largest settlement was a payout of $9 million in a
sexual harassment lawsuit former Fox News producer Andrea
Mackris brought against O'Reilly in 2004, according to the New
Ailes was forced to resign in July after being accused of
sexual misconduct by a number of women, including former anchor
Gretchen Carlson. Ailes has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Twenty-First Century Fox has tapped the law firm Paul, Weiss
Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which also looked into the
allegations against Ailes, to investigate O'Reilly's conduct.
"The O’Reilly Factor" is the most watched program on Fox
News and is coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its
history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
The network has continued to enjoy high ratings despite the
exodus of advertisers from O'Reilly's show and a spate of
allegations that executives turned a blind eye to sexual
(Reporting by Tim Baysinger and Jessical Toonkel; Writing by
Anna Driver and Editing by Tom Brown)