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Bill O'Reilly Is Accusing The New York Times Of Smearing Him To Ruin His Career Prospects

The accusation comes after the paper published a new story claiming that the former Fox News host paid a massive $32 million settlement to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment.

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Bill O'Reilly lashed out at the New York Times Saturday, saying that the paper's latest story, alleging the former Fox News host paid a massive $32 million settlement to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment, is an attempt to smear him and ruin his career prospects.

Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, O'Reilly claimed that the Times had relied on "unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete leaked or stolen documents."

The statement comes after Saturday's New York Times exposé revealed that O'Reilly paid $32 million to longtime Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl after she threatened to sue him for alleged harassment, including "a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her."

The settlement was reached in January 2017, one month before Fox News renewed O'Reilly's contract for $25 million.

It is at least the sixth — and by far the largest — sexual harassment settlement reached by Fox News and O'Reilly. Despite the size of the deal, and other previous allegations of misconduct against the Fox News host, the network renewed O'Reilly's contract in February with a salary increase.

O'Reilly was fired from the network in April after a New York Times story revealed five of O'Reilly's other sexual harassment settlements.

Bill O'Reilly's spokesperson says the NYT "maliciously smeared" O'Reilly to embarrass him and "keep him from compet… https://t.co/DMPPNmqVeF

"In its latest diatribe against Bill O'Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O'Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace," O'Reilly spokesperson, Mark Fabiani, said in response Saturday.

The statement also accused the Times of "failing to print a sworn affidavit" from Wiehl.

Michael Schmidt, who reported the Times story, disputed this claim on Twitter, circling the parts of the piece that mentioned the affidavit in red.

A spokesperson for the paper also pushed back against Fabiani's claims, stating that "the affidavit he claims our story ignored is quoted in our article twice."

"Mr Fabiani addresses everything but what the story actually says," the spokesperson, Eileen Murphy, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "This article, like our previous reporting on the subject, is accurate and deeply reported and we welcome any challenge to the facts."

.@BillOReilly’s statement falsely says our story didn’t mention affidavit Lise Wiehl signed. Here are both referenc… https://t.co/0IoSbD0R0B

In a statement to CNN addressing the report, 21st Century Fox noted that O'Reilly's renewed contract included a stipulation that he "could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations," and said that the network later cut ties with the host based on these terms.

The company also claimed that it has taken action to change the culture of Fox News in the wake of its sexual harassment scandals, including "increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination."

Here is 21st Century Fox’s statement about today’s revelation about Bill O’Reilly’s $32 million settlement:

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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