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Scoop: Fox makes sex charges against Bill O’Reilly go away

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Fox News paid former staffer Juliet Huddy in the “high six figures” after she accused the network’s top host Bill O’Reilly of sexually harassing her. (Courtesy Fox News)

Why are we not terribly surprised to find out that Fox News secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint against blustery host Bill O’Reilly?

In exchange for her silence and agreement not to sue, Juliet Huddy was paid a sum in the high six figures, according to an agreement made public by the website LawNewz.com on Monday.

The allegations arose around the time former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson accused former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who was ousted (although not without collecting plenty of cash), of similar bad behavior.

The New York Times reported that Huddy’s lawyers sent a letter to Fox executives, describing how O’Reilly in 2011 tried to derail her career when she rejected his advances.

The letter said O’Reilly called Huddy repeatedly, sometimes sounding like he was masturbating. He also 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.

Huddy also reported that another longtime Fox executive, Jack Abernethy, retaliated against her professionally after she told him she wasn’t interested in a personal relationship.

O’Reilly’s lawyer and Fox News’ parent company both said Huddy’s allegations were false.

But O’Reilly has a history with sexual-harassment suits with fellow employees. In 2004, one of his producers, Andrea Mackris, sued him, alleging he made unwanted advances and lewd comments over the phone and during meetings. They eventually settled for millions, before a scheduled court hearing on evidence in the case that was said to include tapes of O’Reilly’s lurid phone calls.


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