Don Lemon calls Fox News hypocritical after reports of O'Reilly settlement

Demonstrator Matt Mitchell holds a sign outside of the News Corp. and Fox News headquarters April 19 in midtown

In January, Bill O'Reilly paid a $32 million settlement with longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations shortly before his contract was renewed, reports the New York Times.

Her draft lawsuit nixed by the agreement included "allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material", according to the report.

O'Reilly's four-year contract extension paid $25 million a year, according to the newspaper.

"When the company renewed Bill O'Reilly's contract in February, it knew that a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, but was informed by Mr. O'Reilly that he had settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and Ms. Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the company", 21st Century Fox said in a statement Saturday.

The company also claimed that it has taken action to change the culture of Fox News in the wake of its sexual harassment scandals, including "increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination".

O'Reilly was sacked in April by Fox News's parent company, 21st Century Fox, after the Times revealed that he had settled with five former colleagues who had alleged harassment by him over more than a decade.

In a statement, parent company 21st Century Fox said was aware of the settlement, but not the sum, when it signed a $25m-a-year contract renewal.

Ms. Wiehl agreed to destroy all communications between her and Mr. O'Reilly and eventually signed an affidavit dated January 17 retracting the allegations and promising not to sue, the report said.

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In its first article about Mr. O'Reilly on April 1, The New York Times printed inaccurate settlement figures while fully understanding that O'Reilly and his counsel are legally bound by confidentiality and can not set the record straight. Fox re-signed O'Reilly earlier this year, he wrote, "after the company had analyzed and considered all the allegations against him".

The commentator was forced to resign in April after a string of smaller settlements was reported by the Times and advertisers pulled out of his programme.

O'Reilly personally paid two of these five settlements.

Fox News over the weekend revealed the reason network executives ultimately made the decision to dismiss star host Bill O'Reilly in April.

O'Reilly was sacked in April after settlements with multiple women over accusations of sexual harassment came to light.

The Murdochs subsequently booted Fox News' president Bill Shine, who succeeded Ailes.

Wiehl appeared regularly on O'Reilly's program for 15 years, and said in her affidavit that she had worked with him, socialized with him and offered legal advice over an 18-year period.

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