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21st Century Fox will be opening an investigation into the Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment claims, according to attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing one of the Fox News anchor’s accusers.
Bloom appeared Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources, where she told the network’s Brian Stelter that on Friday she received a return phone call from Fox News attorneys after she and her client Wendy Walsh reported O’Reilly to the corporate hotline.
“I told them I really appreciate that and let’s get going as soon as possible,” said the attorney. “I’m told that they are taking it seriously, and they are going to do the investigation that’s legally required of them.”
Last Monday, Bloom held a news conference with Walsh, who told her story of how rejecting romantic gestures from O’Reilly cost her a paid job at Fox News. The conference was a follow-up to a recent New York Times article which revealed that five women received $13 million in settlement from O’Reilly for not pursuing litigation or speaking out about any sexual harassment involving him.
The recent news has caused over two-dozen advertisers, starting with Mercedes-Benz, to pull their ads from The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News.
Bloom noted on CNN that she was “profoundly grateful to every advertiser who has pulled out.” She said she appreciated Mercedes-Benz for being the first to remove their ads from the show.
Bloom also said that she has been “flooded with calls” from other women seeking to be represented in the matter.
“Some of them their claims are time-barred,” said the attorney. “Many of them, probably all of them are really scared … but we stand with women, and so we are reviewing a number of other cases.”
When asked if she thinks the O’Reilly incidents will blow over, Bloom said she believes more women will come forward.
“What women want are their careers,” she said. “As far as I can tell, all of the women who have made claims against Bill O’Reilly have been driven out. That’s the really scary thing for them.”
For the past couple of months, 21st Century Fox has been using the infamous Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape during company seminars led by a human resources executive to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. Kevin Lord, Fox News executive vp human resources, sent a company-wide email urging staffers to contact him about concerns or to reach out to general counsel Dianne Brandi, chief compliance officer Gerson Zweifach or Michele Hirshman of Paul Weiss, the firm Fox hired over the summer when harassment allegations regarding former CEO Roger Ailes first made headlines.
A representative for 21st Century Fox said in a statement to THR, “21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters.”
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) April 9, 2017
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