(AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Bill O'Reilly and Fox News allegedly dug up dirt on sexual harassment victims

A former New Jersey assemblymen claims that O'Reilly once contacted his ex-girlfriend for dirt on a girl they knew


Taylor Link
October 26, 2017 2:52PM (UTC)

A former New Jersey state assemblymen wrote a chilling Facebook post on Tuesday in which he revealed that his ex-girlfriend, who said she had been sexually harassed by Bill O'Reilly, was contacted by Fox News to assist in the cover-up of another sexual abuse case.

Michael Panter, a Democrat, took to social media this week to refute O'Reilly's claims that he was innocent and that the sexual misconduct allegations made against him were part of a campaign to ruin his career. Panter's evidence: phone calls he had listened to between his ex-girlfriend, an employee at Fox News, and O'Reilly.

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Panter did not provide the name of his ex-girlfriend, but did say that she sued O'Reilly. The former assemblyman said he was present during many phone calls between his ex and O'Reilly, and that they clearly made her uncomfortable. But one phone call stood out from all the rest.

Before his ex-girlfriend eventually launched a dispute against O'Reilly, she was contacted by human resources at Fox News about another sexual harassment case. The female executive on the phone said that she had met with O'Reilly and then co-president Bill Shine and that they wanted to discuss a sensitive matter with Panter's ex. Moments later, the ex-girlfriend received a call from O'Reilly. As Panter described it:

He explained that a new accuser was suing him for sexual harassment. This latest victim was someone my ex knew, and lived in the same complex. He got to the point immediately: give me anything you have on this woman, which we “can use against her.”

He asked if anything was known about her sex life. He asked if she used any illegal drugs. He also asked if anything was known about her financial situation and marriage. In essence, the leadership of Fox, including their “HR” head/counsel and O’Reilly, who held my ex’s career in their hands (and whom O’Reilly was also harassing) was demanding information to attack another victim.

Panter's story corroborates claims made by other former employees at Fox News. Fox has been known to employ a vicious team of PR and legal personnel who attack victims who spoke out against the company's most well-known personalities.

Kirsten Powers, who was once a contributor at Fox News and had complained of inappropriate comments made by O'Reilly, indicated in a tweet that Panter's Facebook post rang true.

Read Panter's full Facebook post below:


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bill O’reilly Fox News Media Right-wing Media Sexual Abuse Sexual Misconduct

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