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Bill O’Reilly reportedly paid $32-million harassment settlement before signing new Fox News contract

Fired Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment claim just before he signed his last contract with Fox News.

A report in the New York Times published Saturday said O’Reilly made the settlement to Lis Wiehl, a longtime contributor to his program, who alleged that O’Reilly forced her into a nonconsensual sexual relationship and sent her sexually explicit material.

The settlement — a staggering figure for a sexual harassment case — was made in January, according to the news report, just before O’Reilly signed a new four-year contract that would pay him $25 million annually to continue as host of his top-rated prime-time program “The O’Reilly Factor.”

A representative of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox acknowledged that it knew about the settlement, but was not aware of the financial terms at the time.

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