A spokesman for Bill O’Reilly accused the New York Times of publishing “unsubstantiated allegations” in order to diminish the former Fox News host’s job prospects.
“In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” Mark Fabiani said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.
O’Reilly reportedly paid a $32 million settlement in January to a colleague who accused him of sexual harassment, a substantial addition to the $13 million previously reported for other allegations. O’Reilly’s contract was renewed not long after, but then he was forced out of Fox in April when some of the allegations were made public.
Fabiani maintained that O’Reilly was falsely accused in the wake of allegations against Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign the network in 2016.
“Dozens of woman accused scores of male employees of Fox News of harassment — including the current co-president of Fox News, Jack Abernathy,” the attorney said. “21st Century Fox settled almost all these cases, paying out close to $100 million. Six months after Mr. Ailes left the company, Fox News Corporation signed Bill O’Reilly to a record-breaking contract after the company had analyzed and considered all allegations against him.”
Fox’s parent company denied knowing the details of the January settlement in a Saturday statement.
“When the company renewed Bill O’Reilly’s contract in February, it knew that a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, but was informed by Mr. O’Reilly that he had settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and Ms. Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the company,” the 21st Century Fox spokesman told CNN.
Fabiani’s statement echoed O’Reilly’s defense of himself, as he has claimed to be a “target” because of his fame and pointed to a spotless record with Fox News’ human resources department as signs of innocence.
“[I]n the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” he said. “The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact. The Times failed to print them, too.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to say that Mark Fabiani is O’Reilly’s spokesman, not attorney.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner