LOS ANGELES 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, will investigate sexual harassment claims levelled at US host Bill O’Reilly, the lawyer of one of his accusers says.
Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who is representing former The O’Reilly Factor contributor Wendy Walsh, told CNN on Sunday that she’s been told by the company’s lawyers that an investigation will be launched into her client’s accusations.
“On Friday, we received a call from a couple of attorneys who represent Fox News and they said that they are, indeed, going to do an investigation based on Wendy’s complaint,” Bloom said.
“I told them we really appreciate that and let’s get going as soon as possible. And so I am told that they are taking it seriously and they are going to do the investigation that’s legally required of them.
“This is not blowing over.”
21st Century Fox issued a statement on Sunday saying it’s instructed a law firm to look into the claim.
“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” read the statement.
This follows Bloom and Walsh calling the network’s corporate hotline on Friday to complain about O’Reilly, which they also taped and put on YouTube.
Last week, Walsh told the New York Times that O’Reilly reneged on a promise to get her a job at Fox News after she rejected his advances. Bloom said on Sunday that Walsh has not sued or sought a settlement from O’Reilly.
The same New York Times story also reported that $US13 million ($A17 million) has been paid out over the course of more than a decade to five women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.
O’Reilly denies that any complaints have been made about him to human resources, arguing his celebrity status makes him a target for such accusations.
Meanwhile, about 60 companies have pulled advertising from “The O’Reilly Factor” in the wake of the report.