New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman said he’s been informed by high-ranking sources within the network that elements within the Murdoch family, which owns the company, are split over the fate of O’Reilly and his show, as they were when sexual harassment allegations led to the ouster of former Fox News executive Roger Ailes last year. Sherman said the same lawyers that investigated the 72-year-old Ailes are now looking into O’Reilly.
The investigation began after O’Reilly guest Wendy Walsh called called 21st Century Fox’s anonymous hotline last week. The company released a statement Sunday saying "21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters."
Walsh said that after declining an invitation from O’Reilly to join him in his hotel suite after a 2013 dinner, the host reneged on an offer to make her a network contributor.
O’Reilly and Fox News have paid out $13 million in settlements to several accusers. O’Reilly has admitted the pay-outs, but denies all allegations of harassment. In a statement, he asserted that the settlements were paid in an effort to protect his children.
The Factor host announced his sabbatical at the end of his show on Tuesday, saying he was going to “grab some vacation, because it's spring and Easter time. Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific,” and telling his audience, "If you can possibly take two good trips a year, it will refresh your life. We all need R&R. Put it to good use."
This is just one of the issues currently facing Fox News, as three African-American employees filed a racial discrimination lawsuit alleging that former longtime comptroller Judy Slater discriminated against them and used racial slurs. Slater was fired before the suit was filed.
And Fox News Channel contributor Julie Roginsky, often seen on "Outnumbered" and "The Five" is the latest woman to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment, saying the ex-executive discriminated against her when she rebuffed his advances.