A former Fox News host who accused
Bill O’Reilly and a network executive of sexual harassment quietly received a six-figure settlement from the company after the ouster of former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, according to reports.
Juliet Huddy, who co-hosted “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet” before it was canceled in 2009, was a frequent guest on “The O’Reilly Factor.” She described a pattern of harassment beginning in 2011 that ended in O’Reilly sabotaging her career after she rejected his advances, according to documentation obtained by Lawnewz.com and The New York Times.
These aren’t the first sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly. Andrea Mackris, who was a producer on his show, sued him in 2004, describing instances of harassment similar to those Huddy alleged.
Both women said they received phone calls from O’Reilly when it sounded like he was masturbating, according to reports.
Huddy also accused Jack Abernethy, who was recently appointed co-president of Fox News, of sexual harassment. Both Abernethy and O’Reilly strongly denied the allegations.
O’Reilly allegedly took Huddy out to dinner and the theatre, invited her to his house, tried to kiss her, and made inappropriate phone calls. He also allegedly invited her to his hotel room on one occasion, then appeared in his boxers when she went to return the room key he gave her after stating she wasn’t interested in a sexual relationship with him.
Last year, Huddy’s lawyers sent a letter containing the allegations to Fox, which then settled with Huddy in September before she sued, according to the reports.
When Huddy visited O’Reilly’s home, he allegedly kissed her on the lips, the reports said.
“Ms. Huddy was so taken aback and repulsed that she instinctively recoiled and actually fell to the ground,” the letter said, according to the Times. “Mr. O’Reilly, looking amused, did not even help Ms. Huddy up.”
She went to dinner and the theatre with O’Reilly the following week, which is when the incident at the hotel happened. Huddy said she “felt compelled to comply with Mr. O’Reilly’s request, given that he had total control over her work assignment.”
Eventually, once Huddy made clear she did not want a sexual relationship with O’Reilly, he “began to retaliate against her both on and off air,” according to the letter. O’Reilly allegedly “nitpicked her work,” berated her for “minor mistakes,” and stopped preparing her for segments on his show.
Huddy told Fox News employees at the time that she didn’t complain because she feared retaliation, according to the Times.
Huddy moved from the Fox network to a local New York affiliate, then left that job in September after she received the settlement, according to Lawnewz.com.
Fox News did not return a request for comment, but a network spokeswoman told the Times in a statement: “The letter contains substantial falsehoods, which both men have vehemently denied.”
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