UPDATED: The parent company of Fox News, 21st Century Fox, will investigate the sexual harassment claims leveled at host Bill O’Reilly, the lawyer of one of his accusers said Sunday.
Civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing former “The O’Reilly Factor” contributor Wendy Walsh, said to CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” that she was told by the company’s lawyers that they would launch an investigation based on Walsh’s accusations.
“On Friday, we received a call from a couple of attorneys who represent Fox News and they said that they are, indeed, going to do an investigation based on Wendy’s complaint,” she said. “I told them we really appreciate that and let’s get going as soon as possible. And so I am told that they are taking it seriously and they are going to do the investigation that’s legally required of them.”
“This is not blowing over,” she added.
In a statement on Sunday, 21st Century Fox confirmed that it will be utilizing the law firm of Paul Weiss to look into the claim.
“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” read the statement.
The news comes after Bloom and Walsh called the network’s corporate hotline on Friday to issue a complaint against O’Reilly, which they taped and put on YouTube.
Last week, Walsh told the New York Times that O’Reilly backed out on a promise to get her a job at Fox News after she rejected his advances. Bloom said on Sunday that Walsh has not sued or sought a settlement from O’Reilly.
The same New York Times story also reported that $13 million has been paid out over the course of more than a decade to five women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse. For his part, O’Reilly denied that any complaints have been made about him to human resources, and argued that his celebrity status makes him a “target” for such accusations.
Meanwhile, dozens of advertisers have fled from “The O’Reilly Factor” in the wake of the report. Thus far, about 60 companies have pulled ads from the Fox News program.