Speed Reads

the saga of bill o'reilly

As another accuser steps forward, rumors swirl that Bill O'Reilly will soon leave Fox News

Another woman has come forward accusing Fox News host Bill O'Reilly of harassment, with her attorney, Lisa Bloom, saying she is "not asking for any money. She just wants them to know her story."

Bloom said the unidentified woman has called Fox News' hotline to report the alleged harassment. The woman, who is black, was a clerical worker in 2008 with a desk near O'Reilly's office. Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter O'Reilly would call the woman "hot chocolate," and otherwise would "never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared." Bloom said she spoke with three witnesses who back up the woman's claims, and she didn't go public until now because "she was afraid if she told him to knock it off she'd get fired."

This is the latest in a string of public accusations of harassment against O'Reilly. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that O'Reilly and Fox News paid off five women who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment and verbal abuse to the tune of $13 million. Last week, O'Reilly said he was taking a pre-planned vacation through April 24, and his show has been hosted by guest anchors. The O'Reilly Factor has consistently been the highest-rated cable news program, but after the Times report, sponsors started to drop left and right. His attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, told CNN O'Reilly has been "subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America," and made the bold claim that he has "irrefutable" evidence that his client is the victim of a "smear campaign being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons."

Earlier Tuesday, New York's Gabriel Sherman reported that the Murdoch family, which runs Fox News, is split on whether or not to keep O'Reilly on the air; dad Rupert wants him to stay, while sons James, CEO of Fox News' parent company 21st Century Fox, and Lachlan think he should get the boot. CNN's Brian Stelter reported Tuesday evening that someone with knowledge of the situation said Fox News and O'Reilly have been discussing his leaving the network, and an announcement could be made by the end of the week. People close to O'Reilly pushed back against the report, with one exception; a friend of O'Reilly's told Stelter the host probably won't return to his show. On Thursday, 21st Century Fox is holding a board meeting, and O'Reilly is set to be the main topic.

Update, 10:29 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal, a Murdoch newspaper, reported late Tuesday night that Fox News is preparing to part ways with O'Reilly, and a final decision could come within the next few days.