Bill O’Reilly Won't Return to Fox Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly on the set of his show "The O'Reilly Factor" in New York on March 17, 2015. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Following a string of sexual harassment allegations, Bill O’Reilly will not return as a host on Fox News, the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox confirmed Wednesday. O’Reilly was due to return to hosting duties on his show “The O’Reilly Factor” after a planned vacation.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” read a statement from 21st Century Fox.

In an internal memo, 21st Century Fox chiefs Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan, said that “this decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.” They added that they “have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on values of trust and respect.”

The company had been under pressure to cut ties with O'Reilly since revelations in a New York Times article at the start of the month that $13 million in settlements had been paid to five women who accused the 67-year-old of various forms of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

Following the report, at least 60 advertisers pulled out of his show, which has consistently been the highest-rated cable news program. He also is one of cable news’ highest paid hosts, taking home a salary of $18 million last year, according to The New York Observer.

O’Reilly denied any wrongdoing on the day the article was released but then remained silent on the matter until his lawyer hit back Tuesday night. Marc E. Kasowitz issued a statement claiming that his law firm “has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.”

The revelations about O’Reilly came on the heels of similar accusations against Fox News’ former chairman Roger Ailes, who was dismissed last summer.