ONE of America’s top TV personalities Monday accused Fox News of protecting disgraced former presenter Bill O’Reilly in the face of sexual harassment allegations.
Speaking on her morning NBC show, ex-Fox anchor Megyn Kelly said she sent an email to several Fox News executives in November 2016, expressing her outrage at O’Reilly’s alleged behaviour.
Her comments came after the New York Times reported Saturday that last January, then-fired O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment claim by Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl for US$32 million (RM135 million). Months later, he was offered a new contract – but forced out again in mid-April after the Times revealed details of five other settlements.
Kelly – who joined NBC earlier this year – said she had mentioned settlements between the presenter and several woman in her email, claiming management was aware of them.
She also alleged that Bill Shine, Fox News co-president at the time, called her to say he would “take care of Bill O’Reilly”.
Speaking on the Times’ podcast The Daily a few days before Saturday’s report was published, O’Reilly insisted he had “never had one complaint filed against me by a coworker … in 43 years.”
Spokesman Mark Fabiani defended O’Reilly’s conduct Saturday.
“In the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” he said in statement published on O’Reilly’s website.
Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, told AFP it has taken action to “transform” Fox News, including “increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination.” — AFP