Update: April 19, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. EST
Bill O’Reilly is no longer employed at Fox News.
In a written statement released Wednesday afternoon, 21st Century Fox said: “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.”
As Bill O’Reilly vacations, there are reports that Fox News is preparing to end “The O’Reilly Factor,” and another woman has come forward making a sexual harassment claim against the network’s star. A news clerical worker, who is Black, alleges O’Reilly referred to her as “hot chocolate.”
Attorney Lisa Bloom tweeted about the claim on Tuesday:
I represent a new woman who just phoned in a complaint of sexual and racial harassment against Bill O’Reilly to the Fox News hotline.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) April 18, 2017
Bloom said that the woman claims O’Reilly made lewd sounds and called her “hot chocolate” in 2008.
“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”
The Fox News host's comment about Rep. Maxine Waters is "no laughing matter," rather "a well-worn diversion and act of denigration," a Rutgers women's and gender studies professor told DiversityInc.
Three witnesses, who knew the woman at the time, confirmed she was upset and stressed at the end of each workday, according to Bloom. She allegedly did not speak out against O’Reilly’s comments in fear she would lose her job.
Bloom also tweeted:
Like Wendy Walsh, the new O’Reilly accuser who I represent is not asking for money, just accountability. Watch this space.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) April 18, 2017
She is also representing Wendy Walsh, who reported a sexual assault allegation against O’Reilly by calling the Fox anonymous hotline on April 5.
Walsh, a psychologist and radio host who made appearances on “The O’Reilly Factor,” said O’Reilly reneged on an offer to secure her a lucrative job on the network after she declined his invitation to join him in his hotel suite after a dinner in early 2013.
Fox, its parent company 21st Century Fox and O’Reilly have paid approximately $13 million in five sexual harassment settlements filed since 2004. More than 50 companies have stopped advertising during “The O’Reilly Factor,” following the news of the settlements.
“Bill, you’re my boss!” a former Fox News producer said in a lawsuit she told Bill O’Reilly when he propositioned her for sex.
Last week, a Fox News spokesperson said O’Reilly is scheduled to return to work on Monday. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, Fox may be prepared to part ways with O’Reilly.
His future at the network could be decided within the next few days. The board of 21st Century Fox has a meeting Thursday, and it has not yet finalized an exit agreement with O’Reilly, people close to the situation told the newspaper.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change, told DiversityInc last week that the online civil rights group with more than 1 million members has been specifically targeting corporations who advertise on “The O’Reilly Factor” to boycott the show.
TV host Bill O’Reilly announced he is taking a vacation, but Rashad Robinson of Color Of Change said, “This is a PR thing that media outlets try to do to stifle the energy of a campaign like ours.”
Robison said that he didn’t believe O’Reilly’s vacation had been planned since October, which a Fox News spokesperson said.
“For [O’Reilly] to go on vacation in the middle of all of this is exactly the type of PR thing that media outlets try to do to stifle the energy of a campaign like ours,” he said.
Rupert Murdoch controls 21st Century Fox, and his sons, James, 44, and Lachlan, 45, also hold leadership positions. According to Reuters, the O’Reilly scandal at Fox News could hamper the Murdoch family’s desired purchase of Sky, a broadcasting company in Great Britain.
British regulators are looking to see if the Murdochs are “fit and proper to own the entirety of Sky.” The last time the family attempted to purchase the network, after the British hacking scandal, there were concerns that the Murdochs had too much influence in Great Britain.
Amid the new sexual harassment allegation, O’Reilly’s attorney Marc E. Kasowitz said in a statement on Tuesday:
“Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This 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 is irrefutable.”