Fox News fired the brother of Bill O’Reilly accuser Juliette Huddy moments after her appearance on Megyn Kelly’s NBC show Monday, but John Huddy believes the dismissal had been in the works for quite some time.
In an official statement, Fox News said Huddy was fired because of an altercation in Jerusalem, where the reporter was stationed, but Huddy is not buying that explanation.
“They hurt my sister, they hurt my father and now they’re trying to hurt me,” John Huddy told the Hollywood Reporter.
Huddy’s father, John Huddy Sr., was a Fox News Channel consultant and longtime friend of the network’s former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. His time at Fox News ended shortly after Ailes stepped down after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple employees.
Ailes’ former employee Bill O’Reilly made sexual advances on Juliette Huddy when she was a regular contributor to his top-rated former Fox News Channel program The O’Reilly Factor, according to a draft of a letter written by her attorney, included in a recent New York Times article.
Huddy had been a fixture on Fox News Channel since 1998, serving as a host on Fox and Friends First and a fill-in host on Fox and Friends, as well as doing the weekly “Did You See That?” segment on O’Reilly’s program.
Her settlement with Fox News Channel’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, included a non-disclosure clause, so when Huddy’s first interview since the settlement was finalized in January was held Monday with Kelly, the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace was raised, but no specifics of her problems with O’Reilly were mentioned.
John Huddy’s time as a Fox News employee ended shortly after his sister’s interview. Huddy had been working at Fox News without a contract since April. He had been with the company since 2014 when he was hired after winning an Emmy as a reporter for WNYW-TV (Fox 5) in New York City, according to his Fox News biography, which was removed on the same day his firing was announced. His Fox reporting often came in dangerous situations, including being fired on during live dispatches from battlefields.
Huddy disputed Fox officials’ version of his firing, telling Hollywood Reporter he had a verbal altercation with a freelance photographer who ran into him at a Jerusalem airport. Huddy said the photographer had said unkind words about the women who accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment, including his sister, and that, while he and the photographer loudly exchanged words, no punches were thrown.
Fox News explained the coincidence of John Huddy being fired shortly after his sister’s interview by noting Huddy would have been fired Friday, except for observation of the Sabbath.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]