Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly fired back on Saturday in response to reports that at least five women have been awarded multi-million dollar settlements after claiming that O’Reilly harassed them.
“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” he said in a statement on his website.
“In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline,” he added.
The Fox host continued, “But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
According to a new report by the New York Times, Bill O’Reilly’s behavior at Fox has been so outlandish that at least five women have been awarded multi-million dollar settlements in order to compensate them for it.
The five women, who received a combined $13 million in settlements, were paid either by Fox or directly by O’Reilly, himself, according to the report.
The complaints included verbal abuse, unwanted advances, lewd comments, and indecent phone calls, and the women who were the subject of the abusive behavior ranged from employees at Fox to guests on his show.
The settlements occurred over the past dozen years starting in 2004 — a case involving a producer — and continuing through 2016 with a former on-air personality. While two of the cases were previously reported, the Times was able to locate three additional which had been, so far, kept secret. Of those, two were sexual harassment claims and one involved accusations of verbal abuse that involved a young producer.
O’Reilly ended his statement by further lashing out at his accusers. “The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel. Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me.”