Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly paid $32 million earlier this year to settle sexual harassment claims from a coworker, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Lis Wiehl, a 15-year analyst on Fox News, accused O’Reilly of misconduct, saying the dishonored anchorman had repeatedly harassed her and forced a “nonconsensual sexual relationship” — something 21st Century Fox, parent company of the cable giant, confirmed to the Times. People familiar with the investigation also said O’Reilly had sent sexually explicit material, including gay pornography, to Wiehl.
The settlement was made in January — months before his exit from the network.
UPDATE: 21st Century Fox issued a statement defending O’Reilly’s contract renewal and salary boost. Click here for that story.
O’Reilly was booted from Fox News in April, following several sexual harassment claims against the longtime cable star. His exit came on the heels of a NYT report O’Reilly and Fox News had made payouts totaling about $13 million to five women to settle claims of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.
Despite the claims, Fox News had signed O’Reilly to a fresh contract in February, bumping his salary from $18 million to $25 million.
O’Reilly’s reps didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
In an interview with Matt Lauer earlier this week, O’Reilly was steadfast he’d done “absolutely nothing wrong” in his time at Fox News. “This was a hit job. A political and financial hit job,” said O’Reilly.