A New Harassment Claim Against Bill O'Reilly Has Surfaced — REPORT
According to Lisa Bloom, the attorney for Wendy Walsh, the psychologist, commentator, and Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment accuser, another woman is now coming forward to accuse the longtime cable news host of sexually harassing behavior. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new accuser ― an African American woman who reportedly worked in a clerical capacity at Fox News ― claims that O'Reilly, 67, repeatedly harassed her, grunting and leering at her on multiple occasions, and referring to her as "hot chocolate."
O'Reilly has steadfastly denied all allegations against him, describing himself in an official statement as "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them," and stating that nobody has ever made a complaint about him on the company's anonymous human resources hotline. That last part, however, is no longer true ― Walsh filed a complaint against him on the hotline earlier this month, and according to Bloom, the new accuser has done the same.
Bloom also told The Hollywood Reporter that the woman, whose name is not currently made public, is not coming forward for money, but for people to hear what she has to say.
O'Reilly is currently on vacation from his show, and according to Gabriel Sherman of New York, it's possible he'll be booted from the air before his scheduled return on April 24. That decision is reportedly being mulled over by James and Rupert Murdoch right now, who'll ultimately decide the longtime anchor's fate.
The simmering scandal surrounding O'Reilly and his history of sexual harassment allegations picked up major steam in March, thanks to an in-depth story by The New York Times detailing $13 million worth of legal settlements O'Reilly's reportedly paid out throughout his two-decade tenure at Fox News. In his statement denying the allegations, O'Reilly said he "put to rest any controversies" for the sake of his children.
The ensuing scandal failed to dent O'Reilly's enduringly strong ratings, and his recent book nonetheless debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times' bestseller list. But an advertiser boycott has made his show very difficult for Fox News to successfully monetize. In his last week on the air, so many major advertisers had dropped him that his commercial breaks were rife with short, relatively cheap ads.
The scandal surrounding O'Reilly isn't the first time allegations of sexual harassment and predatory behavior have rocked the upper-echelons of Fox News. Back in July 2016, former CEO Roger Ailes resigned from the company amid accusations of sexually harassing behavior by multiple women, including on-air personalities Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.