BREAKING: New Fox Sex Scandal Emerges
Another day, another Fox News sex scandal, this time involving star host Bill O'Reilly and former Fox and Friends weekend host Juliet Huddy. As LawNewz notes, the allegations are as follows:
Huddy, who joined Fox News in 1998, previously served as host on the Fox & Friends weekend edition. In 2010, Huddy had a regular segment on The O’Reilly Factor branded “Did You See That?” and then again a few years later, one called “Mad as Hell” where she would be on set with O’Reilly. Huddy claimed in the legal letter to the network, that her position on O’Reilly’s show and the Fox News cable network came to an abrupt end “in retaliation for rebuffing Mr. O’Reilly’s advances.”
The six-page notice from Huddy’s attorney contains certain lurid allegations against O’Reilly and also claims of harassment by newly installed Fox News Co-President Jack Abernethy from when he served as CEO of the Fox Television Stations. This sort of legal letter is usually sent prior to a public lawsuit being filed or as a threat to generate a settlement. In this case, Huddy never filed suit after a settlement agreement was apparently reached. A source close to the matter told us that Fox executives were aware of the allegations against Abernethy and believed them to be false, when he was given a multi-year deal to head up the network alongside Bill Shine.
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.” Upon leaving Fox News cable network, Huddy was then transferred to the Fox-owned New York affiliate, Fox 5 New York, where she was given a spot anchoring the 4:30 a.m. time slot, which she considered much less desirable.
Huddy also claimed she faced sexual harassment from Abernethy who “constantly called her at the office and asking her to come by his office.” Shortly after receiving the settlement, Huddy abruptly left Fox 5 in New York in September. The move came a day after Fox settled with Gretchen Carlson, for a reported $20 million.
This is unsurprising. After the allegations made by Gretchen Carlson were substantiated as extremely true, Fox News likely moved quickly to squelch any other allegations that might be of any sort of substance in hopes of doing damage control. The company settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against O'Reilly in 2004, and the Fox staple recently lost custody of his teenage children.
That's not to say that he's guilty, but that he was an easy target. We'll have more information on this story as it develops.