Juliet Huddy, a former Fox on-air personality, alleged that O’Reilly “pursued a sexual relationship with her” in 2011, according to a letter from her lawyers obtained by The New York Times. Lawnewz.com first reported the settlement Monday.
“When she rebuffed his advances, he tried to derail her career,” the letter said. “He invited her to his house on Long Island, tried to kiss her, took her to dinner and the theater, and after asking her to return a key to his hotel room, appeared at the door in his boxer shorts.”
A second top network figure, Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy, also reportedly sought retaliation against Huddy for not wanting a personal relationship with him.
She was offered a “high six figures” sum in order to stay quiet, people briefed on the agreement told the Times.
21st Century Fox and O’Reilly’s lawyer, meanwhile, disputed the allegations. And a Fox News spokesperson said, “Juliet Huddy’s letter of intent to sue contained substantial falsehoods which both men vehemently denied.”
Huddy left the network last September.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman tweeted Tuesday that there may have been several secret settlements at the network.
Fox News has been engulfed by sexual harassment scandals for several months, even resulting in the departure of Ailes, the network’s former chairman and the man many credit for its explosive growth and popularity.
21st Century Fox reached a $20 million settlement with former anchor Gretchen Carlson after she launched a firestorm of accusations against Ailes last July. Several more women came forward with similar stories in the aftermath. Star anchor Megyn Kelly also accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. Kelly announced her departure from the network to join NBC News last week.
O’Reilly came to the defense of his former boss, telling NBC’s Seth Meyers that he stood behind Ailes “100 percent” in the face of the lawsuits.
Author: Willa Frej