In exchange for agreeing not to return to his anchor chair, accused serial sex harasser Bill O’Reilly will be compensated as much as $25 million, the equivalent of one year’s salary at Fox News, according to The New York Times.
That payday is nearly double what O’Reilly and the company coughed-up in terms of settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by the larger than life Fox star. Their agreements totaled about $13 million, the majority paid by O’Reilly himself, according to The Times.
Fox News spokesgoblins refused to acknowledge any payout, just as they denied O’Reilly sexually harassed women in their Manhattan headquarters. CNN and other news sources cited a confidentiality agreement between the disgraced host and the right wing network.
But sources close to the deal revealed O’Reilly timed this perfectly: last month, he signed a new contract that guaranteed him a huge payday, just days before an investigation was launched that ended with the anti-LGBTQ media personality agreeing to get kicked to the curb.
Workers were spotted Thursday posting boards over windows of the midtown streetside studios, to conceal posters of O’Reilly and the show that once bore his name.
According to The Times, O’Reilly, founder Roger Ailes and other payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News have cost Rupert Murdoch and his sons more than $85 million. Most of that staggering amount — up to $65 million in exit packages, reports the paper — will line the pockets of the men accused of depraved, sexist, racist and entirely unwelcome flirtations and sexual advances.
Ailes was paid more than $40 million to go away. He recently bought a $36 million oceanfront home in Florida.
As for O’Reilly, the bestselling author and ardent Catholic issued a statement, repeating his innocence, saying:
It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.
Fox announced Thursday its resident pro-life anti-LGBTQ bigot Tucker Carlson would succeed O’Reilly.