“The departure of Bill O’Reilly is an important next step to clean up Fox News and make it a respectful and professional work environment,” said the attorney today who represented Gretchen Carlson in her successful sexual harassment action against the cable news giant last summer that saw boss Roger Ailes dethroned and a $20 million settlement.
Just hours after the now ex-O’Reilly Factor host was pink slipped by the House of Murdoch for publicly revealed, big bucks, and advertiser fleeing past harassment cases of his own and potential future ones that were emerging, Nancy Erika Smith put FNC on notice that more is needed – and by more, the Montclair, N.J. lawyer means in the courts, in the checkbook and in the workplace.
“If Twenty-First Century Fox genuinely wants to achieve that result, it will resolve without delay the claims of women, like Julie Roginsky, who have been harassed, intimidated, demeaned and discriminated against,” Smith also said in a statement Wednesday. The attorney represents former The Five contributor Roginsky in her April 3 filed sexual harassment and retaliation suit against Ailes and FNC.
Then Smith adds the real kicker: “Additionally, it should release all employees from the mandatory arbitration and confidentiality clauses that for so many years have silenced women and kept the harassers, enablers and retaliators in place.”
Those clauses are what FNC has successfully used to partially defang claims by the likes of Andrea Tantaro’s August 22, 2016 filed $50 million harassment case against ex-Richard Nixon aide Ailes and the outlet. In February, a NY Supreme Court judge ruled that matter must be dealt with behind the closed doors of arbitration. Claiming that FNC was a “sex fueled” workplace under Ailes, the ex-Outnumbered co-host is appealing the matter.
Currently co-run by longtime Ailes protégé Bill Shine, Fox News did not respond to request for comment today from Deadline on Smith’s statement.