Fox News paid to make a sexual harassment allegation against Bill O'Reilly go away

Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Huddy first joined Fox News in 1998. She was the co-host of a Fox syndicated talk show that aired on broadcast stations in 2007 and then in 2011 went on to appear regularly on "The O'Reilly Factor" segments.

Huddy claimed that O'Reilly propositioned her on numerous occasions and tried to kiss her during a visit to his home in Manhasset, N.Y. The letter also describes other occasions when O'Reilly allegedly repeatedly attempted to get Huddy to have sex with him.

After rebuffing O'Reilly, Huddy said she was not asked to appear on his program -- which is so popular it has served as a springboard for other on-air talent at Fox. She was eventually assigned to a predawn newscast on the local New York Fox TV station WNYW. She remained in that position until last September.

Huddy is the daughter of John Huddy, a former Fox News consultant and close longtime associate to Ailes. She was among a group of Ailes' loyalists who were purged from Fox News shortly after the executive's exit.

The incident with Huddy is not the first time Fox News has settled a sexual harassment charge against O'Reilly. In October 2004, O'Reilly was sued by a former associate producer, Andrea Mackris, who said he initiated phone sex and regularly used lewd language with her at work and in dinner conversations. O'Reilly countersued and called Mackris' allegations a "shakedown." A settlement was reached hours before a scheduled court hearing on evidence in the case that was said to include tapes of O'Reilly's lurid phone calls.

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