Five women who have alleged that Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed them or engaged in other forms of inappropriate behavior have received a total of approximately $13 million in payouts from O’Reilly, Fox News or parent company 21st Century Fox in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about the accusations against him, The New York Times has revealed in an investigative exposé published online on Saturday.
Two of the settlements were previously known, the Times notes, including a $9 million one in 2004 with producer Andrea Mackris, who sued O’Reilly for sexual harassment, and another $1.6 million one reached last year with former on-air personality Juliet Huddy, whose lawyers alleged O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011. But the Times uncovered three additional settlements, two involving women who alleged sexual harassment and another who claimed O’Reilly verbally abused her.
In 2002, O’Reilly allegedly stormed into the newsroom and screamed at a young producer, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, who left the network with a payout and confidentiality agreement shortly after the incident, according to current and former employees, some of whom witnessed what took place, who spoke with The Times. The other two new settlements were reached with women who made sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly: former Fox Business Network host Rebecca Gomez Diamond, who settled her case in 2011, and Laurie Dhue, a Fox News anchor from 2000-2008. In Diamond’s case, O’Reilly paid the undisclosed settlement amount, two people familiar with the situation told the Times. Another person familiar with the matter said 21st Century Fox only learned of that settlement late last year as it was investigating what had occurred at Fox News under Roger Ailes’ time as CEO. Dhue, who also made harassment claims against Ailes, according to people briefed on her lawyers’ complaints, reached a more than $1 million settlement with 21st Century Fox, the Times reports.