21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News’ will investigate the network over the sexual harassment claims made against Bill O’Reilly.
Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing one of O’Reilly’s accusers, made the investigation announcement on rival network, CNN.
“I’m told that they are taking it seriously, and they are going to do the investigation that’s legally required of them,” Bloom said on “Reliable Sources.”
She said she had been hearing from even more women about O’Reilly in the past, and there might be more claims to come.
“This is not blowing over,” she said.
A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox said in a statement that the company, “investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters.”
Bloom did not immediately return a request for further comment.
Bloom’s announcement comes days after she and the accuser, Wendy Walsh, recorded themselves reporting O’Reilly to Fox News’ corporate complaint hotline. Bloom then posted a clip of their call on YouTube.In the phone call, Bloom alleged that O’Reilly hinted he would make her a regular contributor on “The O’Reilly Factor” in 2013 — and then invited her to his hotel suite.
When she rebuffed his offer, O’Reilly instead took her to a bar and “became hostile,” Walsh said.
“He said insulting things to me,” she said in the call.
“I think the most important thing he said was, ‘You can forget about any career advice I gave you, you’re on your own.’”
O’Reilly grew cold to her on camera over the next few months before cutting her completely from his show, Walsh said.
Walsh is not one of the women to receive settlements from O’Reilly or Fox News over alleged harassment from the star host.
But at least five other women have reached settlements since 2002, which have totaled more than $13 million.
Those women have accused O’Reilly of verbal abuse, unwanted advances, graphic sexual comments and phone calls in which he appeared to be masturbating.
O’Reilly has denied all allegations, and the network has stood by him, even after a New York Times report on the settlements last week started an advertising exodus from his show.
More than 30 companies have pulled ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” in the past week, with many directly condemning the host’s behavior.
O’Reilly, who earns $18 million a year hosting the station’s most popular show, recently renewed his contract, which was set to expire this year.
The 21st Century Fox investigation would pile on yet another major scandal for the right-wing news channel. The feds are investigating Fox News for allegedly hiding its multimillion dollar settlements from investors.
Meanwhile, three black women from the Fox News payroll department have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the network, and former chairman Roger Ailes — who stepped down last year over his own harassment allegations — is being sued by his accusers.
A Hollywood Reporter story last week revealed that 21st Century Fox had been using the infamous video of Donald Trump lewd “Access Hollywood” remarks in its sexual harassment seminars for employees.
Ironically, several top Fox News commentators — including O’Reilly — defended Trump after the tape leaked weeks before the presidential election. O’Reilly dismissed Trump’s comments as “crude guy talk,” but refused to play the most vulgar parts of the tape on his show.
Fox vs Fox? This should be interesting.