While most of America had become infatuated with Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings and President-elect Donald Trump’s supposed direct ties to Russia on Tuesday, another conservative stalwart was under fire. News of Fox News’ decision to “quietly” settle a former employee’s lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by network personality Bill O’Reilly quickly made the rounds. Come Wednesday morning, however, additional information regarding the circumstances of Juliet Huddy’s ordeal were made clear by shocking revelations detailed in a letter received by the New York Times.
Initial reports on Tuesday referred to Huddy’s claim that, per the documents on hand, O’Reilly “tried to affect her career” once she rebuffed his unwanted sexual advances. According to a letter that was mailed anonymously to the NYT and subsequently verified, however, the lengths to which O’Reilly apparently went to bury Huddy’s career at Fox News are quite drastic:
“Ms. Huddy’s rejection of Mr. O’Reilly apparently did not sit well with him, as he began to retaliate against her both on and off air,” the letter said.
Mr. O’Reilly “nitpicked her work” and would “berate Ms. Huddy for minor mistakes,” according to the letter. Mr. O’Reilly stopped preparing her for segments and would surprise her with story angles that they had not discussed.
In 2013, Ms. Huddy was replaced on one segment of his show. Another segment that she was featured in, called “Mad as Hell,” was canceled. She did not complain, fearing retaliation, she told current and former Fox News employees at the time.
Fox News Co-President Jack Abernethy, who was named alongside O’Reilly in Huddy’s lawsuit, also tried to derail her work efforts after she responded negatively to his desire for a serious relationship. Abernethy, who recently signed a new multi-year contract with the network, had reportedly started “trashing” Huddy. Whether he did so in her presence or not wasn’t detailed by the NYT, but the allegations levied against him and O’Reilly by the letter are enough to paint the pair in an even brighter, disparaging light.
(Via New York Times)