Fox News quietly settled a sexual harassment case against the network's top host, Bill O'Reilly, after it was brought by another Fox News employee, TV personality Juliet Huddy, earlier this year, documents obtained by The New York Times and confirmed as authentic by relevant parties show.
In a draft of a letter from Huddy's lawyers to Fox News, Huddy described O'Reilly in 2011 inviting her to his house and hotel room, trying to kiss her, and calling her on the phone repeatedly, sometimes sounding "like he was masturbating." In one scenario described in the letter:
Mr. O'Reilly asked [Huddy] to join him for dinner at the Harvard Club, followed by a Broadway show, according to the letter and to current and former Fox News employees.
Ms. Huddy was not interested in having a romantic relationship with Mr. O'Reilly but, the letter said, "she felt compelled to comply with Mr. O'Reilly's request, given that he had total control over her work assignment."
During the Broadway show, according to the letter, Mr. O'Reilly moved close to Ms. Huddy in a way that made her feel uncomfortable. He tried to hold her hand but she pulled it away. Then he dropped a key to the room at a Midtown Manhattan hotel he was staying at into her lap, and told her to meet him there after the show. He stood up and left, the letter said.
Ms. Huddy went to the hotel to return Mr. O'Reilly's key, according to the letter. She asked him to meet her in the lobby, but he refused and asked her to join him in his room.
"Ms. Huddy declined and explained that she was not interested in Mr. O'Reilly on a personal or sexual level," the letter said. [The New York Times]
Huddy was reportedly paid in the "high six figures" to agree not to talk about the harassment and not to sue. Her allegations were brought to the company in the weeks after former chairman Roger Ailes was ousted following a sexual harassment scandal of his own.
O'Reilly's lawyer and Fox News deny Huddy's accusations. Read the entire report at The New York Times.