Amid reports Tuesday night that executives at Fox are discussing cutting ties with Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host’s lawyer issued a statement claiming that O’Reilly is the the victim of a “smear campaign” from the “far-left.”
“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 far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons,” O’Reilly’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said in a statement Tuesday night. “That evidence will be put forth shortly, and it is irrefutable.”
The statement came as several outlets reported that it’s unlikely O’Reilly will return to his show at the network.
New York Magazine reported Tuesday afternoon that members of the Murdoch family have been fighting over whether O’Reilly should leave the network. The Murdochs are “leaning toward” announcing O’Reilly’s departure, per New York Magazine.
Tuesday evening, CNN reported that representatives for Fox and O’Reilly have begun discussing the host’s exit, citing a “well-placed source.” Sources close to O’Reilly denied this, but yet another source told CNN that it’s not likely O’Reilly will return to his primetime show on the network.
The Wall Street Journal later reported that Fox News is preparing to have O’Reilly leave the network, citing unnamed “people close to the situation.” A final decision on the host’s fate could come in the next few days, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Fox News declined to respond to several outlets when asked about O’Reilly’s status at the network on Tuesday.
O’Reilly went on a lengthy vacation following a New York Times report revealing that the host and Fox had settled multiple sexual harassment cases. The report prompted several advertisers to pull their ad buys from the show, putting pressure on the network to boot O’Reilly.