O’Reilly accuser: ‘I want to be clear, I’m not after money’
Wendy Walsh, the latest person to accuse Fox News host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment, said she doesn’t have a financial endgame in mind.
“I want to be clear, I’m not after money,” Walsh told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday’s edition of CNN Tonight.
Walsh’s comment came in response to O’Reilly’s April 1 statement on sexual harassment allegations, in which he said he is “vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.”
Walsh, however, said she is not suing him.
“I just want a nontoxic work environment for my daughters and their generation,” she said. “We need to change the system. The work place is not a mating marketplace. If you are looking for a date, do like everyone else and go on Tinder.”
The New York Times reported Saturday that five women over a period of more than a decade received payouts from either O’Reilly, Fox News or parent company 21st Century Fox “in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.”
Two of the five settlements were previously known, and involved sexual harassment allegations — including a complaint from a producer that was settled for about $9 million according to the Times. The others were first revealed by The Times on Saturday, and include two sexual harassment claims and one related to verbal abuse.
Walsh, a psychologist and radio TV personality, was a guest on O’Reilly’s top-rated cable news show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” multiple times in 2013. She told the New York Times that O’Reilly reneged on a promise to get her a job at the network after she rebuffed his advances.
O’Reilly’s representatives have said Walsh’s recurring segment was scrapped due to poor ratings.
“I did what every woman does in [a] sexual harassment situation,” Walsh said. “We try to save the gig. We try to stroke the dog as it is. Fox released some of my cringe-worthy suckup emails today, because I thought if I can just be professional, if I can just be polite, if can just talk through his assistant then he’ll understand that I am not a threat. I am not going to sue him and he will give me the job he promised.”
Walsh told Lemon that she did not “come forward” to the New York Times, but chose to speak out after the Times reporter told her about other accusers.
– Dylan Byers contributed to this report