Will Bill O'Reilly Go To Jail? His Fox News Ouster May Be His Main Punishment
In a rare case of people getting what they deserve, Bill O'Reilly has lost his position at Fox News due to the revelation of several allegations of sexual harassment against him. He has denied the allegations, claiming they were made up to hurt his reputation. If you were wondering if more will happen to him, know that Bill O'Reilly will not go to jail because of his alleged misdeeds. At the moment, O'Reilly has no criminal suits filed against him — and past settlements aren't enough to land someone behind bars.
At the beginning of April, The New York Times published an article detailing how O'Reilly and Fox had paid out $13 million in settlements to various women who claimed that O'Reilly had verbally abused or sexually harassed them. Some of the women who received settlements had filed lawsuits against him, but the settlements marked the end of the case.
The two most recent accusations against O'Reilly, coming from former guest on O'Reilly's show Wendy Walsh and an anonymous former Fox News employee, which he denies, have not come with lawsuits. But by ending O'Reilly's career at Fox News, they have achieved their greatest possible effect. Neither accuser aimed to put O'Reilly in jail by filing a criminal suit against him, and jail time is reserved for those who have been found guilty of having committed a crime.
All that said, there have been plenty of loud voices saying that Bill O'Reilly should end up in the slammer, including that of Rep. Maxine Waters, who claimed that Fox was creating a "sexual harassment enterprise" and that those leading it, including O'Reilly, should end up in jail. "You shouldn't be able to sexually harass women," she told Chris Hayes on MSNBC, "And then get out of it just because you're rich." Bustle has reached out to Fox News for comment.
There was reportedly an ongoing Justice Department investigation into Fox News and the company's conduct surrounding the sexual harassment allegations against the former Fox CEO, Roger Ailes, who denied the claims. However, it's unclear whether this case was specifically investigating any one person, so it still seems unlikely that whatever findings it turns up would send Fox's former star to jail.