Advertisers flee Fox's Bill O'Reilly Show amid sexual harassment lawsuits

Roger Ailes, former President of Fox News Channel attends the Hollywood Reporter celebration of "The 35 Most Powerful People in Media" at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

An advertiser boycott against Fox News's Bill O'Reilly picked up dramatic speed Tuesday in a rapid-fire reaction to the news that the outspoken host has been the subject of a succession of sexual-harassment allegations over the past 15 years. Roginsky called Shine's assistant to request a meeting with Shine, but heard back instead from Brandi, who said Roginsky could not meet with Shine if she was "threaten [ing] a lawsuit" about Ailes. When she refused his advances, Roginsky alleged, Ailes refused to meet with her and took her out of regular rotation on Fox's "The Five".

The 43-year-old Democratic strategist, who regularly appeared on news discussion programs "Outnumbered" and "The Five", claims that Ailes sexually harassed her and that when she refused his advances, she was denied a full-time hosting opportunity. Past year its chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes stepped down following a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by former employee Gretchen Carlson.

Susan Estrich, an attorney who is representing Ailes, said in an email that her client "vociferously denies the allegations" and that Roginsky's description of meetings with him were "total hogwash".

In her suit, Roginsky alleges that Ailes repeatedly invoked the prospect of elevating her from a contributor's job to be a permanent host on The Five.

"On the heels of Roger Ailes' shameful removal from Fox News, following similar sexual harassment claims, Mr. O'Reilly's case is part of a larger culture that condones the harassment and objectification of women at Fox News".

Almost nine months after Ailes was ousted from the network, Julie Roginsky, a Fox News contributor, sued Ailes, Fox News and Bill Shine, the network's co-president.

The suit claims that Roginsky did not want to lose the job that she still had, and was additionally not made aware of any mechanisms to report what had happened to her at the time. But the lawsuit alleges Shine and other top Fox executives should have known about Ailes' behavior much earlier.

Bill O'Reilly's top-rated Fox News show may be starting to feel a financial sting, with 12 firms taking action after allegations that he sexually harassed several women.

"Shine retaliated against plaintiff because of her complaints of harassment and retaliation [against Ailes]", the lawsuit reads, "and because of plaintiff's refusal to malign Gretchen Carlson and join "Team Roger" when Carlson sued Ailes".

Bill O'Reilly didn't discuss harassment allegations detailed against over the weekend in his first show back at work.

The suit touched off an internal investigation that brought forward other complaints and led to Ailes's ouster as chairman of the network. A spokesman for the commission said no claim had been filed. Claims have to address activity that happened in NY and must be filed within a year of an alleged infraction. The network's No. 1 star, Bill O'Reilly, has been accused of crude and vindictive behavior toward women. She also said she is not suing O'Reilly but is speaking out "as a single mother of two daughters".

"Nobody can silence me because my voice is not for sale", Walsh said.

  • Zachary Reyes