After getting hit with a slew of sexual harassment claims last year, Fox News quietly settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars after a host accused Bill O’Reilly of frequently making inappropriate phone calls and once trying to forcefully kiss her, a recent report claims.
Juliet Huddy, who used to be a regular on “The O’Reilly Factor,” claimed in a formal lawsuit threat obtained by LawNewz that she was booted from the primetime show “in retaliation for rebuffing Mr. O’Reilly’s advances” despite having “one of the highest rated segments.”
Huddy, 47, said in the suit notice that she was thereafter transferred to Fox 5 New York, where she was given a 4:30 a.m. anchoring spot, which she considered less desirable.
Huddy sent the six-page notice in early September and received a settlement in “the high six figures” within a matter of days, according to in-house sources. She then abruptly resigned from the network, claiming in a departure letter that it was time “to move on and shake things up.”
The settlement came right around the same time that ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson settled a lawsuit against the network for a whopping $20 million after accusing ex-CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, prompting more than 20 other women to come forward and make similar accusations.
Huddy’s September letter contains lurid details about how O’Reilly allegedly tried to kiss her when she visited his Long Island home. It also claims that there was some sort of incident at a New York City hotel after she went to “return a room key,” in addition to O’Reilly frequently making sexually charged comments while on the phone with her.
The letter also mentions newly appointed Fox News co-President Jack Abernethy, who Huddy claims made inappropriate comments and “constantly” asked her to come by his office.
Both O’Reilly and Abernethy denied the allegations from the start and neither of the two ended up contributing any personal funds to Huddy’s settlement, according to sources.