Bill O'Reilly accusers 'not going to stop' until he's fired, lawyer says
The Fox host is due back on the air next Monday.
— -- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is facing a new accusation of misconduct, with lawyer Lisa Bloom saying this morning that she and her clients are “not going to stop until Bill O’Reilly is fired.”
“This is about equality for women in the workplace,” Bloom said today on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
O’Reilly is on vacation – a trip he said was long-planned when he left the air April 11 – as he continues to be dogged by accusations of misconduct that were given new life by an April 1 story in The New York Times that detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.
Out of the spotlight, the negative publicity died down for a bit, but surged back with a report in New York Magazine on Tuesday that said — citing three unnamed sources — that Fox News owners, the Murdoch family, were “leaning toward announcing that O’Reilly will not return to the air.”
On the same day, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) published a story saying that another woman had come forward to make misconduct allegations against O’Reilly.
Bloom, who is representing the woman in the THR story, appeared today on “GMA” without the new accuser and without identifying her, but reiterated the African-American woman’s allegation that O’Reilly called her client “hot chocolate.”
Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter that her client was “not asking for any money.”
Meanwhile, the host is on vacation in Italy, where Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed to ABC News that he met with Pope Francis today. O'Reilly is due back on the air Monday.
Late Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal – which shares the same ownership as Fox News’ parent company – reported that “A final resolution on the fate of Mr. O’Reilly … could come as early as the next several days,” citing “people close to the situation.”
“21st Century Fox, which will hold a board meeting Thursday, hasn’t finalized an exit agreement with Mr. O’Reilly,” The Journal reported.
Attorneys for O’Reilly told ABC News this morning that they “categorically deny” being involved in discussions about his possible departure from the network, but noted that they can’t speak to what’s being discussed internally at Fox News.
ABC News has not been able to independently verify reporting in the Times, New York Magazine, Hollywood Reporter or Wall Street Journal stories.
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment and 21st Century Fox declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.
O’Reilly’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz said that his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”
He said in a statement Tuesday that his firm, “has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons,” and that the “evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.”
Regarding the allegation in the THR report, Kasowitz said: “It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations.”
Bloom told “GMA” this morning that her client had a right to anonymity, saying “imagine if you’re a low level clerical worker and you’re going up against Bill O’Reilly.”
After the Times’ investigation, O’Reilly wrote on his website that he, "like other prominent and controversial people," is "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.” And said that he was "a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way" and therefore he had "put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
ABC News' Michael DelMoro contributed to this report.