Fox News poised to fire Bill O'Reilly following sexual harassment scandal

He recently took a break from his show, while more than 60 advertisers pulled out of it

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The Independent Culture

Fox News looks set to lose its biggest name, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the network is preparing to cut ties with Bill O'Reilly following a string of sexual harassment claims.

O'Reilly has been at Fox News Channel for 21 years - almost since its inception - with the last few months having seen several female contributors come forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour, including making sexual advances that made a female host fall over, phoning women up and seeming to masturbate with a vibrator and promising lucrative jobs opportunities before making sexual advances.

20th Century Fox declined to comment on the WSJ report.

A recent exposé in The New York Times revealed that the network and host had collectively paid $13 million in out-of-court settlements related to harassment claims.

O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, claimed that the presenter has been the target of a “brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America,” fueled by “far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons.”

President Trump recently defended his friend.

"I think he shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled," Trump told the NYT. "Because you should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong.

”I think he's a person I know well — he is a good person.”

The host hasn't appeared on his The O'Reilly Factor show the last few days as he has been on a vacation he claims was planned long before the allegations.

More than 60 advertisers pulled out of the show as accusers stacked up, another coming forward today claiming O'Reilly leered at her and called her "hot chocolate".