Bill O’Reilly may be out at Fox News.
The embattled anchor of The O’Reilly Factor announced this week that he’s taking a vacation and will not appear on the air again until April 24.
But a new report indicates that this may become a permanent vacation for the serial sexual harasser.
Last week, a bombshell New York Times article revealed that O’Reilly has paid out around $13 million over the years to five women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
All of these women either worked for Fox News or were a guest on O’Reilly’s primetime program.
And they all have alleged that O’Reilly used his position of power to make inappropriate comments and suggestions; or to act in an inappropriate manner around them.
For example, the victims claim O’Reilly verbally abused them… made unwanted sexual advances toward them… and even called them when it sounded like he was pleasuring himself.
(Editor’s Note: We hope we never need to discover what this sounds like.)
According to various legal documents, either O’Reilly, Fox News or a combination of the two settled with each of the women for significant sums of money.
Dr. Wendy Walsh – who was NOT among the five women to have received a financial settlement – told The New York Times that she turned down the so-called reporter’s advances – and he therefore took back an offer to make her a Fox News contributor.
She says she is not seeking any monetary amount for going public with this accusation.
She just wants the world to know what kind of person Bill O’Reilly is.
In response to this scandal, a growing number of advertisers have pulled their sponsorship of The O’Reilly Factor.
A few days ago, Fox News aired a truncated episode of the program, with a mere seven companies paying for ad time.
On Tuesday night, O’Reilly signed off for a few weeks, with network insiders stating he always takes a vacation around this time of year because it corresponds with his kids’ spring break from school.
But New York Magazine writes that O’Reilly may never return to his desk.
Attorneys for the law firm Paul, Weiss (hired last summer by 21st Century Fox to investigate Roger Ailes, the CEO who resigned amidst his own sexual misconduct affair), are currently doing a “deep dive” investigation into O’Reilly’s behavior.
These lawyers are reportedly focused on harassment claims against O’Reilly by Walsh after she reported her allegations via the company’s anonymous hotline.
Fox News co-president Bill Shine supposedly wants to keep his network’s most-watched face around.
But a pair of reliable Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would prefer O’Reilly to be taken off the air for good, while his dad Rupert and older brother Lachlan are more inclined to keep him.
No one in the Murdoch family has spoken out about O’Reilly to date.
But President Donald Trump has!
He’s been pretty much the only person to offer public support for O’Reilly because… of course he has, right?
”I think he shouldn’t have settled,” Trump told New York Times reporters in a wide-ranging interview last week.
“Because you should have taken it all the way; I don’t think Bill did anything wrong," the President said, mere days after announcing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
He concluded of O’Reilly:
“I think he’s a person I know well. He is a good person.”
Still, despite this ringing endorsement from a man who can’t help but grab the pussy of nearly every woman he meets, a senior Fox News staffer told New York Magazine the following:
“The assumption is that [O’Reilly will] exit in a non-embarrassing way."