Fox News Renews Anchor Bill O’Reilly’s Contract As Multi-Million Dollar Sexual Harassment Scandal Deepens

The Hill reports:

Fox News has reportedly renewed the contract of longtime host Bill O’Reilly despite recent sexual harassment settlements, according to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report. O’Reilly, who has been the top-rated host in cable news for 15 consecutive years, was the subject of a front page New York Times Saturday article that detailed sexual harassment claims by five women that resulted in $13 million in payouts from the network and O’Reilly.

O’Reilly’s lawyer, Fredric S. Newman, in a statement to the Times suggested O’Reilly might take legal action against some people bringing claims against him, stating: “We are now seriously considering legal action to defend Mr. O’Reilly’s reputation.” The 67-year-old host has reportedly hired noted crisis communications expert Mark Fabiani, who once served as special counsel and legal spokesperson for President Clinton and his administration from 1994 to 1996.

More from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Another accuser, radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh, will be holding a press conference at 1 p.m. on Monday to speak about her claims of sexually harassment against O’Reilly, as well as present “new demands” to Fox News. Walsh appeared on The O’Reilly Factor a number of times back in 2013 and told the Times O’Reilly reneged on his offer to make her a Fox News contributor, which can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, when she refused to visit him in his hotel suite.

“Fox’s executives are waiting and watching, anticipating that more women will come forward with allegations against O’Reilly,” CNN host Brian Stelter reported on Sunday. “Two executives, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggested Fox is taking a wait-and-see approach to the controversy that’s been triggered by the Times investigation.”

The news of settlements paid to O’Reilly’s accusers comes after former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes was forced out of the network after dozens of former employees, including former hosts Gretchen Carlson, Andrea Tantaros and Megyn Kelly, accused him of sexual misconduct.