The parent company of Fox News has hired a law firm to investigate the sexual harassment charges levied against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, according to Reuters.
The investigation began after Wendy Walsh, a former regular guest on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” called into the network’s corporate hotline last week to discuss what happened.
“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” the company said in a statement.
That’s the same firm hired by Fox last year used to investigate sexual harassment claims against Roger Ailes, who happened to be the chairman of the network at that time.
As the pressure mounted, Ailes resigned but not before the company gave him a $40 million payout.
It is also important to note that Bill O’Reilly has denied the allegations levied against him, adding: “No one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.”
Wendy Walsh’s lawyer went public with their complaint on Twitter, adding that they were responsible for calling the Fox News hotline to file the complaint against O’Reilly.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) April 5, 2017
O’Reilly’s spokesman told the New York Times that there is “nothing special” going on with the network hiring a law firm to investigate the claims, adding that is was “already retained by the company to look into all hotline calls.”
As the allegations against O’Reilly continue to gain national attention, many companies are pulling their ads from his top-rated news show.
The Times reported last week that the network and O’Reilly have collectively shelled out nearly $13 million over the years in settlements to five claims of sexual harassment.
The effect of the sexual harassment claims has been two-fold. While 60 companies have pulled their ads from the “O’Reilly Factor,” around 3.8 million people watched the show last Tuesday night, far surpassing the 2.3 million viewers that watched the show the previous Tuesday.
Time will tell what happens to Bill O’Reilly, but more accusations are going to spell trouble for Fox’s highest rated host.