As he continues his vacation, lawyers hired by 21st Century Fox are looking into an accusation of sexual harassment made against Bill O’Reilly by former O’Reilly Factor contributor Wendy Walsh.
And a new report in the Washington Post casts some doubt on some of Walsh’s claims.
During a news conference earlier this month, just days after the New York Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News had paid $13 million to settle 5 other harassment claims, Walsh said that O’Reilly propositioned her in a Los Angeles hotel in early 2013, then retaliated against her by rescinding a full time job offer.
Factor producers told Walsh in June, 2013 that her regular segments, during which she appeared with lawyer Bonny Forrest, would be ending.
In an interview, Forrest said that Walsh told her that she thought their cancellation was because of the hotel encounter. But Walsh didn’t mention then that O’Reilly had offered and then rescinded the job offer, Forrest said.
“I heard the allegation from her in September, and what she related to me was very different from what’s in the press now,” Forrest said.
“I take sexual harassment and racial discrimination very seriously. But I also believe in this instance there are some statements made in press that aren’t consistent with my experience,” said Forrest, who has been interviewed by attorneys for Paul Weiss, who are investigating this latest harassment claim against O’Reilly. From the Post:
Walsh was a guest 13 times after her meeting with O’Reilly in Los Angeles, appearing almost weekly from late February until mid-June of that year. He mentioned her book four times after it was published in mid-April and repeatedly showed its cover on the air.
And there’s this email from Walsh to O’Reilly’s assistant in September 2013, seven months after the hotel meeting: “Specifically, please convey to ‘the boss’ [O’Reilly] that I am deeply grateful for his professional kindness. His media power is immeasurable and his call to [“The View’s” executive producer] really launched my book tour on a high note. Can’t thank him enough.”
While O’Reilly’s fate may rest in the hands of the Paul Weiss attorneys, victims of sexual harassment are not letting up. The women’s group UltraViolet will be protesting outside Fox News headquarters this afternoon, calling for O’Reilly’s ouster.