Juliet Huddy is probably a name that Bill O’Reilly wishes he had never heard right about now.
She’s a former Fox News reporter and anchor who accused the O’Reilly Factor host of sexually harassing her. The New York Times reported Tuesday that it had obtained a draft of a letter written by Huddy’s lawyers and sent to the network detailing O’Reilly’s repeated advances. The newspaper also spoke with current and former Fox News employees, who confirmed that Huddy was “paid in the high six figures” to stay silent and not file a lawsuit when she left the company in September.
Huddy began working at Fox News in 1998 as a reporter and was later a weekend host at Fox & Friends as well as a regular guest on O’Reilly’s popular show. O’Reilly allegedly made sexually charged comments to Huddy and propositioned her beginning in 2011. According to the Times, Huddy alleged that the host and author repeatedly called her, even while he was on vacation. Some of their conversations, she claimed, were “highly inappropriate and sexual,” and O’Reilly sometimes sounded like he was masturbating. He also allegedly gave her a key to his hotel room, tried to kiss her, and repeatedly propositioned her.
After she rejected him, Huddy said, she was taken off O’Reilly’s show and reassigned to Fox’s New York City affiliate, where she anchored Good Day New York at 4:30 a.m.
Both O’Reilly’s lawyer and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, which allegedly made the settlement, refuted Huddy’s claims.
Huddy also alleged harassment from another executive, Jack Abernethy, who is in charge of Fox Television Stations and also is now the co-president of Fox News. Abernethy was “constantly calling her at the office and asking her to come by his office,” according to the letter.
“Juliet Huddy’s letter of intent to sue contained substantial falsehoods which both men vehemently denied,” a Fox News spokesperson told Yahoo Celebrity.
O’Reilly faced sexual harassment allegations in 2004, when Andrea Mackris, a producer on his show, claimed he made inappropriate comments and sexual advances. Mackris sued, and O’Reilly reportedly settled that case for millions of dollars.
Huddy, 47, is the daughter of John Huddy Sr., who the Times notes was a confidant of Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman who was forced out following charges of sexual harassment against him — just weeks before the agreement with Huddy. More than 20 women brought allegations against Ailes.
Huddy wasn’t one of them.
Thank you, Roger Ailes for being a wonderful boss and mentor. I will always appreciate what you've done for me. Again, THANK YOU.
— Juliet Huddy (@JulietHuddyTV) July 21, 2016
When she left Fox, Huddy tweeted that she would be creating a website with long-form music interviews and writing a book.