Bill O’Reilly continues to put the “dirty old man” in dirty old man, according to a new claim. A black woman has come forward and told attorney Lisa Bloom that when she was a clerical worker at Fox News, O’Reilly leered at her and called her “hot chocolate.”
Bloom helped the woman report the harassment to the network’s hotline. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the woman worked for a different news program in 2008 when this occurred, but O’Reilly’s office was near her desk.
“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told the Hollywood Reporter. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”
Bloom told the publication that at the time, the woman valued her job too much to risk speaking up, but Bloom has spoken with at least three witnesses who knew the woman at the time and confirmed her story, saying that she was upset and stressed at the end of each workday.
“She’s not asking for any money. She just wants them to know her story,” Bloom said. “She was afraid if she told him to knock it off, she’d get fired. Now that she’s aware this is all in the news, she’s decided to phone in a complaint to the Fox News hotline.”
Mark Kasowitz, an attorney for O’Reilly, said in a statement to CNN:
It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially when there is an obviously orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Bloom is also representing radio personality Wendy Walsh, who says she was forced out of the network after refusing O’Reilly’s advances. An April 1 New York Times story revealed explosive allegations against O’Reilly, including that during his tenure at the network at least five women have been paid off to keep silent about harassment. In the story, Fox said in a statement that “no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly.”
So far at least this woman and Walsh have taken advantage of the line—and, soon, another woman is also expected to call and report harassment by the anchor, according to Bloom.
The allegations against O’Reilly are not the only sexual harassment problems Fox has to deal with. Roger Ailes, the now ousted CEO, has also been accused of sexual harassment and retaliation against women who rejected his advances. Both Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly have spoken openly about their experiences at the network.
THR reports that Bloom sent a letter to the New York State Division of Human Rights calling Fox News a “cesspool of sexual harassment, intimidation and retaliation.” She asked the agency to intervene.
Your Auntie Maxine was absolutely right earlier this month when she called Fox News a “sexual harassment enterprise” on live TV.
Let’s hope these women get the justice they are seeking.