April 10 (UPI) — A claim of sexual harassment against Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly is under investigation, parent company 21st Century Fox said.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing KFI-AM, Los Angeles, radio host and psychotherapist Wendy Walsh, said Sunday that 21st Century Fox is examining Walsh’s accusation that she was denied a promised opportunity to work as a Fox news contributor after she rejected O’Reilly’s sexual advances.
Earlier this month, The New York Times published accounts of O’Reilly’s settlements with five other women, including former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson, who said they were victims of his sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior. The New York Times story said $13 million was paid to settle sexual harassment claims at the company.
Walsh called the company’s anonymous tip line last week to register a complaint against O’Reilly, prompting the investigation.
“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss [Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison] to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” the company said in a statement on Sunday. The law firm earlier undertook an investigation of Roger Ailes, former Fox News chairman, who was dismissed after at least six women accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Bloom said Walsh has requested the involvement of the New York State Division of Human Rights in launching its own investigation of Walsh’s complaint, but added that her client does not intend to sue O’Reilly.
“Dr. Walsh is not seeking any money,” Bloom said.
Walsh appeared in a regular segment on O’Reilly’s television program in 2013. She said on the tip line that that she and O’Reilly discussed her future in television at dinner in a hotel restaurant, and that after she rejected his suggestion that they go to his hotel suite, he became hostile, saying, “Forget about any career advice I gave you. You’re on your own.”
The accusations against O’Reilly prompted major advertisers to abandon his nightly television program, “The O’Reilly Factor.”