It seems that scandalous behavior is a common denominator for more than just one person at Fox News. Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, stepped down last year after settling a $20 million sexual harassment suit against a female employee. While the fire following the Ailes scandal was being fanned by the media, executives from the company were scrambling to keep another scandal from seeing the light of day. Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel, was being accused of similar behavior by his former employee Juliet Huddy.
In 2011, Huddy alleged that O’Reilly tried pursuing a sexual relationship with her. At the time, he could have easily helped (or hurt) Huddy’s career. Some of the inappropriate behavior alleged against O’Reilly included:
- O’Reilly would call Huddy and it would sound like he was masturbating.
- He invited her to his house, gave her a tour, and then tried to kiss her.
- He took her to dinner and a Broadway show. During the show he tried to hold her hand, dropped his hotel key in her lap, and then invited her to his hotel.
- When Huddy went to the hotel to return his key, she asked him to meet her in the lobby. When he refused, Huddy told him she did not want a sexual relationship with him. When she met him at his room, he was in his boxer shorts. Huddy gave him the key and left immediately.
After Huddy turned O’Reilly down, Huddy alleged that he retaliated by trying to ruin her career. He acted condescendingly when she made mistakes, nitpicked her work, and stopped properly preparing her for work assignments. In 2013, O’Reilly found a replacement for her on the segment of his show that she was regularly featured on.
21st Century Fox allegedly paid Huddy a settlement in the high six figures.
This is not O’Reilly’s first sexual harassment charge. In 2004, his former producer sued him for $60,000,000. O’Reilly countersued for extortion but later settled with her out of court for an undisclosed amount of money (believed to be in the millions of dollars.)
What do you think? Do you believe O’Reilly engaged in this inappropriate behavior? Or do you think Huddy took advantage of his celebrity status?
Sexually harassed by your employer? Call Shirazi Law Firm for a consultation: 310-400-5891. Join us on the following networks for the latest legal news: