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Fox News renews O’Reilly contract: report

Fox News renews O’Reilly contract: report
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Fox News has reportedly renewed the contract of longtime host Bill O'Reilly despite recent sexual harassment settlements, according to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report. 

O'Reilly, who has been the top-rated host in cable news for 15 consecutive years, was the subject of a front-page New York Times article Saturday that detailed sexual harassment claims by five women that resulted in $13 million in payouts from the network and O'Reilly.

O'Reilly's lawyer, Fredric S. Newman, in a statement to the Times suggested O’Reilly might take legal action against some people bringing claims against him, stating: “We are now seriously considering legal action to defend Mr. O’Reilly’s reputation.”

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The 67-year-old host has reportedly hired noted crisis communications expert Mark Fabiani, who once served as special counsel and legal spokesperson for President Clinton and his administration from 1994 to 1996. 

O’Reilly said in a weekend statement that being a well-known public figure made him vulnerable to lawsuits and the settlements were made “to put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” the statement read. “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.

“But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children."

O'Reilly has two teenage children. 

Fox News will not comment on talent contracts. 

The Hill has reached out to O'Reilly's representatives for comment.