Former Fox News Commentator Bill O'Reilly dismissed a recent report from the New York Times that claimed 21st Century Fox had extended his contract months after he reached a $32 million settlement over sexual harassment allegations by Fox network analyst Lis Wiehl.
O'Reilly called out the report's claims on Twitter, saying" "My investigative team has done a superb job in exposing the lies and smear. I will speak with you on Monday."
The former Fox News commentator then posted a statement from his spokesman Mark Fabiani which read:
Once again, The New York Times has maliciously smeared Bill O’Reilly, this time even failing to print a sworn affidavit from his former lawyer, Lis Wiehl, repudiating all allegations against Bill O’Reilly. The Times ignored that evidence, sworn under oath, and chose to rely on unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete leaked or stolen documents.
Here are the facts: after the Chairman of Fox News Roger Ailes was fired in July 2015, dozens of women accused scores of male employees of Fox News of harassment — including the current co-president of Fox News Jack Abernathy.
21st Century Fox settled almost all these cases, paying out close to $100 million dollars. Six months after Mr. Ailes left the company, Fox News Corporation signed Bill O’Reilly to a record breaking new contract after the company had analyzed and considered all allegations against him.
In its first article about Mr. O’Reilly on April 1st, The New York Times printed inaccurate settlement figures while fully understanding that O’Reilly and his counsel are legally bound by confidentiality and cannot set the record straight.
In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace.
Finally, in the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline. The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact.
The Times failed to print them, too.
One of the more controversial claims from the statement includes an accusation that the Times failed to print a "sworn affidavit" from O'Reilly's accuser "repudiating all allegations against" the former host. Things quickly escalated when NYT reporter Michael S. Schmidt posted a response on Twitter.
In the post, Schmidt calls out the claims and shows screenshots of both mentions Lis Wiehl signing an affidavit in the story.
NYT editor Dean Baquet made his own statement concerning the back-and-forth, saying, "Mr. Fabiani addresses everything but what the story actually says. This article, like our previous reporting on the subject, is accurate and deeply rooted and we welcome any challenge to the facts. The affidavit he claims our story ignored is quoted in our article twice."
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