NEW YORK (AP) — Car company Mercedes-Benz says it’s pulling ads from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” because of host Bill O’Reilly’s sexual-harassment “controversy.”
The New York Times reported over the weekend Fox News’ parent company or O’Reilly have paid $13 million since 2012 to five women who said he sexually harassed or verbally abused them.
Mercedes-Benz says the allegations are “disturbing.” It says given the importance of women in every aspect of its business it doesn’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise its products.
Representatives for Fox News and owner 21st Century Fox haven’t responded to questions.
Meanwhile, an attorney for a former Fox News guest is calling for an independent investigation of sexual harassment allegations against host Bill O’Reilly.
Lisa Bloom represents Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” whose appearances dried up after she refused to go to O’Reilly’s bedroom following a 2013 dinner in Los Angeles. She’s seeking an investigation by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights.
Walsh said she came forward because she was told by a New York Times reporter that many of the women who have accused O’Reilly of harassment are bound by gag orders. She said she is not bound by any such agreement and the statute of limitations has passed for her to sue.
“Nobody can silence me because my voice is not for sale,” Walsh said. “Nobody can buy my voice.”
The Times reported this weekend that Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox or O’Reilly paid $13 million to five women since 2002 to settle cases where they alleged inappropriate behavior by O’Reilly. Last year, Fox News chief Roger Ailes left the network following accusations he had made unwanted sexual advances against women. Ailes has denied the charges.
Earlier Monday, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, saying she was denied opportunities after she rebuffed Ailes’ advances and that current management sought to keep her complaints quiet.