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Fox News is preparing to cut ties with star anchor Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation, after revelations that he and Fox parent 21st Century Fox settled multiple sexual harassment complaints led to an exodus of advertisers from his show and mounting pressure on the network, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The report explains that the decision on the fate of O’Reilly could come as soon as in the next few days.
21st Century Fox, which will hold a board meeting Thursday, hasn’t finalized an exit agreement with Mr. O’Reilly, the people close to the situation said, according to the WSJ.
The issues between Fox and O’Reilly began when a New York Times article came out detailing $13 million in settlements paid to five women who worked on or appeared on Mr. O’Reilly’s program. All of which claimed alleged sexual harassment from the host.
Mr. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing, saying he paid settlements to “put to rest any controversies to spare my children,” per the WSJ.
On Tuesday, an attorney for Mr. O’Reilly said the host has “been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America” and added that he has “evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons,” per the WSJ.
Fox News and the WSJ share a common ownership through their parent companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.