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Fox News reportedly paid a former anchor not to sue Bill O'Reilly for sexual harassmentby Mike Denison

Fox News reportedly paid an anchor to keep her from suing Bill O'Reilly for sexual harassment, The New York Times reports.

Juliet Huddy said O'Reilly had sought a relationship with her in 2011 and tried to ruin her career when she rejected him. She alleged in a draft of a letter from her lawyers that O'Reilly called her multiple times, occasionally sounding like he was masturbating. In another instance he greeted her at the door in his underwear. Fox News paid her "in the high six figures" to keep quiet, the Times reports.

"There is absolutely no basis for any claim of sexual harassment against Bill O'Reilly by Juliet Huddy."

Frederic Newman, O'Reilly's lawyer

Fox News representatives dismissed the Times' report.

Similarly, Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said the letter from Huddy's lawyers "contains substantial falsehoods." 

The fallout

O'Reilly was viewed by coworkers as an influential figure at Fox News, and his support could lead to career advancement, the Times reports.

At one point after Huddy rejected O'Reilly, he started harshly criticizing her work and replaced her on a segment of "The O'Reilly Factor" she had started appearing on. 

Huddy left Fox News Sept. 7. 

Critics were quick to bash O'Reilly.

Many condemned O'Reilly's apparent moral hypocrisy.

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