A new report alleges Fox News recently settled a sexual harassment complaint made against top anchor Bill O’Reilly by a former coworker accusing him of routinely making inappropriate calls to her and once forcibly trying to kiss her.
LawNewz reports the network quickly and quietly settled former “The O’Reilly Factor” regular Juliet Huddy’s threatened suit for “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
In her proposed litigation, attorneys for Huddy also insisted that she was dropped from primetime show’s lineup “in retaliation for rebuffing Mr. O’Reilly’s advances.”
In the midst of all that, the 47-year-old Huddy claims that she was abruptly transferred to Fox 5 New York and given a much more undesirable time slot, despite having one of the highest rated segments of all O’Reilly show contributors.
After receiving her “high six-figure” settlement, Huddy abruptly resigned from the network sometime late last year.
Her deal came right around the time the network was already being deluged with a flood of bad publicity stemming from former anchor Gretchen Carlson’s suit against former network CEO Roger Ailes also on claims of sexual harassment.
Host Bill O’Reilly appears on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ on The FOX News Channel at FOX Studios in New York City. [Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images][/caption]
Carlson eventually reached a $20 million settlement with the network and ultimately more than 20 women, including star host Megyn Kelly, stepped forward to make similar claims against Ailes.
In a lengthy letter she mailed to top network executives prior to submitting her formal resignation, Huddy charged O’Reilly forcefully tried to kiss her when she once visited his Long Island home. In addition to the frequent phone calls, she further alleged that there was some sort of incident involving the two at a New York City hotel after she went to “return a room key.”
Huddy first joined the network back in 1998, serving as a host on the “Fox & Friends Weekend” show.
In one of the many allegations levied against Ailes, Fox 5 reporter Lidia Curanaj formally filed suit charging that he made unwanted sexual advances toward her when she applied for Fox News Chanel position.
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros also filed suit against Ailes where she branded her former boss a “predator.”
Persistent claims against Ailes included allegations that he regularly asked female employees to twirl in front of him to show off their bodies and made lewd comments to them.
Of all the women who made sexual harassment claims against Ailes, only former network booker Laurie Luhn publicly admitted to giving in to his advances, acknowledging that the two had a sexual relationship that spanned at least two decades and began with Ailes coming on to her.
Ultimately, the 76-year-old Ailes left the network after reaching a $40 buyout.
Kelly has also since left the network signing on to join NBC News, where she is slated to host a daytime news and discussion program, anchor a Sunday-night newsmagazine show and be prominently featured in all the network’s political programming.
While at Fox, the 46-year-old Kelly hosted “The Kelly File,” which stood as the network’s second-most watched program behind “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Kelly publicly lodged her complaints against Ailes in her new best-selling memoir “Settle for More,” where she insisted he offered to advance her career “in exchange for sexual favors.”
Later, without naming names, O’Reilly publicly blasted the thought of an employee openly criticizing an employer as disloyal.
While still at the network, Kelly also openly tangled with fellow host Sean Hannity over the network’s coverage of now President-elect Donald Trump. Kelly contended Trump only did interviews with Hannity because he was afraid to go beyond “unsafe spaces.”
In all, Kelly spent 12 years on the cable network before announcing her departure.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]