Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News.
Rupert Murdoch announced that he was terminating the network's most popular host in a letter that was signed by himself and his two sons, Lachlan and James.
Rupert reportedly made this decision to fire O'Reilly after being pressured by his two sons, according to Daily Mail.
21st Fox News sent out a tweet this morning releasing a statement regarding his termination.
Statement from 21st Century Fox regarding Bill O'Reilly: https://t.co/VBTDFVy1mA— 21st Century Fox (@21CF) April 19, 2017
"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the statement says.
O'Reilly, who recently signed a multiyear contract worth over US$20million a year, repsonded to the statement saying it is disheartening that he was let go due to unfounded claims.
O'Reilly was halfway around the world on Wednesday, meeting Pope Francis in Vatican City.
The popular host was in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday morning with his son for Pope Francis' weekly address, and afterwards stood in a VIP line to shake hands with the holy leader.
Pope Francis likely had no idea whose hand he was shaking however as the pontiff has said in interviews that he does not watch television.
Executives at Fox News are reportedly discussing the best way to sever ties with O'Reilly ahead of a 21st Century Fox board meeting on Thursday, during which O'Reilly is expected to be the primary talking point.
Fox News staffer reportedly felt that O'Reilly would be staying on last week, but Rupert is said to have had a change of heart after speaking with his two sons.
James had wanted O'Reilly out from the start while Lachlan was on the fence.
Lachlan then reportedly changed his mind on the matter when his wife convinced him that O'Reilly had to go.
Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, and Tucker Carlson are reportedly in talks to replace O'Reilly, with Fox News hoping to debut their new host on this Monday.
The network may also opt to move The Five into the primetime lineup.
This comes one day after a new accuser came forward to make sexual harassment allegations against O'Reilly.
Attorney Lisa Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter that the woman in question worked for another network back in 2008 but had a desk near O'Reilly's office, and claimed that he would refer to the African-American woman as 'hot chocolate' when he walked by during the day.
The woman is not asking for any money, just "accountability" according to Bloom.
"He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar," alleged Bloom on O'Reilly's treatment of this latest alleged victim.
"He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared."
Marc E Kasowitz, attorney for Bill O'Reilly said in a statement: "Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.
"This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by a far-left organisation bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons.
"That evidence will be put forth shortly and is irrefutable."
An earlier statement from O'Reilly's lawyer said: '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.'
Speaking about O'Reilly's future with the network, sources told New York on Tuesday that James and Lachlan Murdoch wanted him out and and James was working to convince his father.
That was not just in response to the outcry in America either according to the report, but also to help the Murdochs as they try to acquire the pay-TV provider Sky in Europe.
There have been reports that this latest scandal could end up hurting the Murdochs in their bid to purchase Sky.
"It's up to the family," said a senior Fox News source.
Viewership of the Fox News host's show O'Reilly Factor has dropped 26 per cent just three days after he went on vacation.
Nielsen company figures show that so far Bolling did the best with his 3.11million viewership, down 16 per cent from O'Reilly's performance a week earlier.
The 2.32million who watched Gutfeld on Friday was down 39 per cent from the previous Friday.
O'Reilly's viewership spiked in the days following the report on the harassment allegations.
In the week that followed, viewership increased to an average of 3.71 million, up 12 per cent from the week before the report and 28 per cent over the same week in 2016.
It has still remained the most watched cable news show and won its timeslot.
Bloom is also representing Dr. Wendy Walsh, who previously accused O'Reilly of harassment.
Walsh said that in 2013 O'Reilly asked her to dinner one night at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and then made the network contributor an offer, telling her that he was friends with Roger Ailes and could make secure the lucrative position for the psychotherapist.
It was after dinner when things began to shift according to Walsh, who said that O'Reilly asked her to come up to his hotel suite.
She politely declined and decided to steer the two towards the bar, where she claims O'Reilly became hostile over drinks and said she could forget his career advice.
Then, as a coup de grace, Walsh claims that O'Reilly said her purse was ugly.
It was revealed earlier this month that five women had been paid by the network after making accusations against the popular host.
Walsh was not one of those women and had never publicly accused O'Reilly until the release of The New York Times report.
The report claimed that close to US$13 million had been paid to five women who accused O'Reilly of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace: Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, Andrea Mackris, Rebecca Gomez Diamond, Laurie Dhue, and Juliet Huddy.
It was Mackris' lawsuit that made headlines when it was settled back in 2004 by the network for a formerly undisclosed sum which over the weekend was revealed to be US$9million.
In her complaint, Mackris claimed she had been sexually harassed by O'Reilly and detailed their phone sex conversations in which he allegedly listed off his female conquests.
O'Reilly also allegedly detailed a sex fantasy he had about Mackris using 'that little loofah thing' in the shower, but towards the end accidentally called it a 'falafel thing'.
According to the complaint, O'Reilly called Mackris one night to inform her he was watching pornography and then began to engage in a phone sex fantasy about having her come to the Caribbean with him.
"So anyway I'd be rubbing your big boobs and getting your nipples really hard, kinda kissing your neck from behind... and then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and I'd put it on your p***y, but you'd have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business," said O'Reilly according to court papers filed by Mackris.
Her complaint went on to say that during his monologue O'Reilly also suggested Mackris perform oral sex on his "big c***' and that 'it became clear that he was using a vibrator upon himself and had ejaculated."
When the two reached a settlement a statement was released from both parties that said
"no wrongdoing whatsoever" occurred while Mackris worked with O'Reilly.
She was also not allowed to speak about the suit in public before or after the settlement, while O'Reilly was able to say that Mackris' complaint was 'the single most evil thing I have ever experienced' to his millions of viewers.
Mackris was also written about negatively in a number of articles at the time.
It was seven years until the next woman received a settlement, with Diamond being handed an unknown amount from O'Reilly himself according to multiple sources after confronting him with a recording of comments he had made to and about her while she worked as a host on the Fox Business Network show Happy Hour.
The payout was so secretive that 21st Century Fox was not even aware of the what had transpired between the two parties until last year, when it was revealed during an internal investigation into sexual harassment claims being brought against Ailes.
Laurie Dhue, who worked as a reporter on the television show Geraldo at Large and was the host of Fox Report Weekend for eight years between 2000 and 2008 also received a payout after accusing Ailes and O'Reilly of sexual harassment.
She received US$1million over the summer from the network, shortly after she announced her plan to write a tell-all book.
Fox News also settled with Huddy for US$1.6million back in September after she claimed that O'Reilly had tried to pursue a sexual relationship with her while she appeared on the network as a guest on his show.
Huddy stated that O'Reilly would repeatedly call her at home in Long Island and once tried to kiss her, which caused her to fall over as she pulled away from the host.
Soon after she stopped being asked to appear on O'Reilly's program.
Both Dhue and Huddy's stories had been reported before, but it was not known Dhue had complained about O'Reilly's behaviour in addition to Ailes.
The fifth settlement came back in 2002 after O'Reilly reportedly screamed at junior producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, who left soon after with a settlement.
That incident did not involve sexual harassment.
O'Reilly fired back soon after the release of the report, releasing a personal statement on his website in which he said that he had to consider his children when settling these claims.
"Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. 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,' O'Reilly began his statement.
"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."
He added: "Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me."
O'Reilly has a daughter Madeline, 18, and son Spencer, 13, with his ex-wife Maureen.
The couple divorced in 2011, and it was in the years after that divorce that three of the five women who received settlements claimed they were sexually harassed by O'Reilly.
He currently makes US$18million annually as the host of his Fox News show, which he launched back in 1996 at the birth of the network.
O'Reilly made comments similar to his official statement last year while appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers and defending Ailes after women began coming forward claiming he had sexually harassed them over the years.
"In this country, every famous, powerful or wealthy person is a target,' O'Reilly told Meyers.
"You're a target. I'm a target. Any time somebody could come out and sue us, attack us, go to the press or anything like that."
O'Reilly then began to say "until America," but quickly interrupted himself to explain what he has to deal with in his life because of his fame.
"It's a deplorable situation because I have to have bodyguards. I have to hire bodyguards, physical bodyguards."
He then continued with his previous thought, telling Meyers: "Until the United States adopts the English system of civil law, whereby, if you file a frivolous lawsuit, and you lose, the judge has a right to make you pay all court costs."
"Until we adopt that very fair proposition, we are going to have this out of control, tabloid society that is tremendously destructive."
O'Reilly also went after then co-worker Megyn Kelly on CBS This Morning back in November when she publicly accused Ailes of sexual harassment in her memoir.
"I'm not interested in basically litigating something that is finished that makes my network look bad. Okay?" said O'Reilly.
"I'm not interested in making my network look bad at all. That doesn't interest me one bit."
Kelly, an actual victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, refused to be silenced or shamed by O'Reilly and fired back the following day, saying: "I believe that Roger Ailes made the company look bad."
Ailes made a remarkably swift exit from the company back in July, packing up his office just three weeks after he was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed by former host Gretchen Carlson.
He still managed to walk away with a reported $40million severance package after leaving his post, and maintains that the allegations being made by Carlson in her lawsuit are false.
Carlson recounted a conversation she had with Ailes in September of 2015 in her court filing, during which he allegedly said to her: "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better."
That conversation allegedly occurred when Carlson went to speak with Ailes about what she believed were discriminatory practices at the network.
The popular host of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson claimed in her lawsuit that her refusal to have a sexual relationship with her boss was why she was let go on June 23 after 11 years with the network.
She was eventually awarded US$20million, and told she could not speak about the lawsuit.
Former Fox News event planner Laurie Luhn received a settlement following her relationship with Ailes, which she claimed required her to perform sexual acts with the man and for two decades and eventually caused her to suffer a mental breakdown.
It was after that breakdown that Luhn decided to tell the network about the years of sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes and how he would allegedly tape her and once forced her to engage in bed with another women while seeking out younger women for him to meet.
The network quickly responded by giving Luhn a US$3.15million payout, and making her sign "extensive nondisclosure provisions."
It was also revealed just last month that Tamara Holder and 21st Century Fox reportedly worked out a deal in February that awarded the lawyer and author US$2.5million following an incident that occurred two years ago.
Holder, who joined the network in 2010 and has appeared on Hannity and guest hosted The Five, approached Fox News' executive vice president for business and legal affairs Dianne Brandi back in September and alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Francisco Cortes.
She alleged that Cortes, the vice president of Fox News Latino, tried to force her into performing oral sex on him when the two were alone in his office.
Fox News also fired Cortes, who in 2004 was personally selected by Roger Ailes as the first member of the disgraced CEO's apprentice program.
Kelly wrote about what she saw as problems with the way Ailes handled complaints in her memoir, saying that the 'entire structure was set up to isolate and silence' victims.
Finally, there is Andrea Tantaros, who is still suing the company for $50million.
The former Fox News host claims that Ailes and O'Reilly both subjected her to unwanted sexual advances while she was an employee.
:Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fuelled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny," claimed Tantaros in her lawsuit.
Tantaros, 37, went on to claim in the suit that she was taken off the air when she complained about being sexually harassed by Ailes.
She also claimed that Ailes once asked her to perform "the twirl" for him; said "come over here so I can give you a hug'; and told her 'I bet you look good in a bikini."
O'Reilly meanwhile invited Tantaros to his Long island home to stay with him, telling her it would be 'very private' she claimed in her lawsuit, also telling her that he could 'see [her] as a wild girl' and that she had a 'wild side.'
Tantaros said that she and her agent told Shine, Scott, and Brandi about numerous examples of Ailes's alleged harassment.
"Ailes did not act alone," claims Tantaros in her lawsuit.
"He may have been the primary culprit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants, who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation and retaliation."
In a statement released over the weekend regarding the O'Reilly report, 21st Century Fox said: "Notwithstanding the fact 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, even anonymously, we have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O'Reilly.
"While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O'Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News."
Fox News referenced the 21st Century Fox statement when asked for comment over the weekend.