Fox News confirm Bill O'Reilly will not return to the network

The network says "the climate shifted dramatically" in April

Fox News confirm Bill O'Reilly will not return to the network

File photo of Bill O'Reilly attending The Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration in New York | Image: Andy Kropa/AP/Press Association Images

Fox News says it is cutting ties with host Bill O'Reilly.

It says mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior prompted the network to end his program, 'The O'Reilly Factor'

Parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement: "After a thorough and careful review of the allegation, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel."

O'Reilly was seen as one of the biggest stars in the network's history.

But in a post on its website, Fox News says "the climate shifted dramatically" after the New York Times reported on April 1st that O’Reilly or Fox had paid US$13m (€12.1m) to settle five cases against him alleging sexual or other harassment.

Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel poses for photos on the set of "The O'Reilly Factor" in New York | Image: Richard Drew/AP/Press Association Images

Following that, more than 50 advertisers withdrew from his show, and 21st Century Fox asked a law firm to investigate a complaint from a woman who claimed O’Reilly dropped efforts to make her a contributor in 2013 after she turned down his invitation to visit his hotel room.

The presenter denies all the allegations.

67-year-old O'Reilly has been on holiday since last week.

Fox says 'The O'Reilly Factor' "has been a cash cow for Fox News Channel", generating about US$178m (€166.1m) in ad revenue in 2015.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that O'Reilly was exiting Fox imminently.

The paper also quoted the host’s attorney, Marc E Kasowitz, who called this a leftist conspiracy against his client.

Controversies

O'Reilly is no stranger to controversy, having been involved in several well-publicised disputes.

He called for a boycott of Pepsi products in 2002, saying that lyrics of Ludacris (then appearing in ads for the soft drink brand) glamorise a "life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women." The next day, O'Reilly reported that Pepsi had fired Ludacris.

Three years later, Ludacris referenced O'Reilly in the song "Number One Spot" with the lyrics "Respected highly, hi, Mr. O'Reilly/Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey," which alludes to his sexual-harassment suit while married.

In 2010, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set of The View after they both disagreed with statements made by O'Reilly, specifically his statement "Muslims killed us on 9/11."

Two years ago, court transcripts from O’Reilly's custody trial with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy revealed signs of domestic violence within the household.

O’Reilly's daughter testified to a forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly choking McPhilmy and dragging her down the stairs of their home by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching.

In light of the allegation, O’Reilly issued a statement through his attorney describing the account as "100% false" and declined to comment further in order “to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect [his] children”.

In February 2016, O'Reilly lost a bid for custody of both of his children.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann