*Bill O’Reilly’s string of sexual harassment lawsuits and payouts has triggered Mercedes-Benz to reassign advertisements set to air during “The O’Reilly Factor,” after reports that he paid a total of $13 million to five women since 2002.
A New York Times report published Saturday found that Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox and the host himself paid a total of $13 million to five women since 2002. The money was paid “in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him.” O’Reilly has said the accusations lack merit, but he has not denied the payments.
“Yes, we had advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy,” Donna Boland, the manager of corporate communications at Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement to CNN Money. “The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
Former Fox News regular, Dr. Wendy Walsh, gave a detailed account of O’Reilly’s unwanted sexual advances in a press conference on Monday after the NYT’s report surfaced over the weekend.
Walsh said O’Reilly invited her to the dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air after she became a regular commentator on “The O’Reilly Factor” in early 2013. During dinner he praised her performance and offered a bit of career advice. Afterwards, he expected Walsh to serve him her vajayjay for dessert and when she declined he snapped.
As they ate, O’Reilly raved about the “great job” she was doing on his weekly segment “Are We Crazy?” and said he wanted to make her a paid contributor. After the meal ended, O’Reilly said, “Let’s get out of here,” and Walsh assumed they were going to head to the bar area so they could continue their conversation. Outside the restaurant, the bar was to the left and the guest rooms were to the right, she explained.
“A funny thing happened. The two of us walked past the hostess stand, and he walked to the right, and I walked to the left. And we got like 10 feet away from each other, walking away from each other. And then both of us turned around like, ‘Where’d he go? Where’d she go?’” Walsh said.
“And so he caught up with me and said, ‘No, no, come back to my suite,’” she recalled.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that,” she told him.
“He immediately got defensive,” she said. “He got very hostile, very quickly. He told me flat out, ‘Forget any career advice I gave you.’”
Walsh said her career with O’Reilly’s show stalled after that. She was never made a paid contributor.