Though the bulk of the Fox News sex scandal headlines from the last year have been devoted to former Fox CEO Roger Ailes, it appears that another head honcho at the network was quietly working to settle his own sexual indiscretions undercover.
Using the controversy from Ailes as cover, the Fox Network quietly settled an ongoing sexual harassment case which involved leading anchor Bill O’Reilly in the summer of 2016, putting to rest headline news before it was even written.
O’Reilly had allegedly sexually harassed and stalked a former co-worker, Juliet Huddy. Huddy accused both O’Reilly and new Fox co-president Jack Abernathy of sexual harassment, with both attempting to coerce Huddy into romantic relationships, despite their seniority in the company.
Huddy was a Fox on-air personality who worked at the network for years, occasionally appearing in a weekly segment “Did You See That” on The Oreilly Factor. Huddy left Fox in September abruptly after receiving the settlement.
In a letter from Huddy’s lawyer obtained by the New York Times, the former Fox anchor alleged that both O’Reilly and Abernathy had sexually harassed her.
The letter revealed that the network paid Huddy somewhere in the high six-figures to end the suit, though neither men personally paid anything toward Huddy and continue to deny the charges.
According to Law Newz,
“In the letter, Huddy claimed that during the time she appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly propositioned her on multiple occasions including trying to kiss her when she visited his home near Manhasset, Long Island and making inappropriate phone calls to her. She also claimed there was an incident at a New York hotel after she went to “return a room key” to O’Reilly. In the letter, Huddy said when she refused to comply with O’Reilly’s advances, she was booted from the show despite having “one of the highest rated segments.””
Though the network has ousted one sexual deviant from its ranks, its clear that the culture of sexual objectification, harassment, and assault will continue within the corporation.