Fox News giant Bill O’Reilly is under fire after a new report alleges he covered up five sexual harassment suits against him with the help of the network! Find out more must-know facts about ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ host, accused of reportedly paying off the victims to the tune of $13 million!
1. He’s hosted The O’Reilly Factor since 1996
That’s 21 years, kids. Bill O’Reilly, 65, started anchoring his own show on the then-start-up Fox News Channel in 1996 after getting his masters degree at Harvard. The show is routinely one of the highest-rated programs in evening cable news. It’s known for its controversial topics and for giving Bill a platform for his controversial statements.
2. He’s accused of sexually harassing 5 women
The New York Times released an explosive report on April 1 alleging five women who worked at or with Fox News accused Bill of sexual harassment dating back to 2002 — and had their suits covered up by the network. The report claims that at least five women allegedly received payouts from either Bill or Fox News in exchange for agreeing not to speak about their accusations against him, or to pursue legal action. The payouts allegedly total about $13 million.
Only two of the five suits were previously known about. Former O’Reilly Factor producer Andrea Mackris accused Bill of allegedly telling her about sexual fantasies involving her over the phone in October 2004. She alleged that he told her to use a vibrator on herself, and threatened that if she told anyone, she’d “pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born.” He eventually settled with Andrea, paying $9 million.
Shortly after Fox News head Roger Ailes was ousted for alleged sexual harassment in 2016, the network settled a sexual harassment claim against Bill filed by Juliet Huddy, a frequent contributor to the Factor. She claimed that in 2011, he tried to start a romantic relationship with her, and when she rebuffed, he allegedly said he’d hurt her career. He settled with her for $1.6 million.
Two previously unknown sexual harassment suits were settled by Fox hosts Rebecca Diamond and Laurie Dhue reportedly settled in 2011 and 2016, respectively, according to NYT; junior producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein allegedly settled with Fox in 2002 after accusing him of verbal abuse.
3. He used to anchor Inside Edition
Bill became the lead anchor on Inside Edition in 1989, and held the position until 1995. He was great in the role, but is known now for one thing: the infamous behind-the-scenes video of him having a meltdown between takes. While trying to record a cutaway at the end of the broadcast, Bill got enraged when the teleprompter stopped working, and screamed, “f**k it, we’re doing it live!” He recorded the sign-off, then trashed the desk and walked off set. It’s insane.
4. Bill and The O’Reilly Factor inspired Stephen Colbert’s character for The Colbert Report
The conservative Fox News host provided Stephen Colbert with all the inspiration he needed to make the Colbert character who hosted The Colbert Report. In fact, The Colbert Report itself was a direct parody of The O’Reilly Factor! It’s hard to remember sometimes, but Colbert was playing a character on his Comedy Central show for nine years — and he was pretending to be Bill. He referred to Bill as “Papa Bear” and had him on the show in 2007. “Word of the Day” was totally a O’Reilly thing first.
5. He’s an accomplished author
Bill has written a series of best-selling books, including Killing Lincoln, Killing Jesus, and Killing Kennedy.
HollywoodLifers, did you learn something new about Bill? Tell us in the comments!