Around the same time that Roger Ailes stepped down from his role as Fox News’ CEO in July amid Gretchen Carlson‘s sexual harassment lawsuit, the network had been quietly negotiating another sexual misconduct allegation — this time against host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Co-President Jack Abernethy.
Fox News came to a discreet settlement after former host Juliet Huddy claimed sexual harassment against the network’s top host and a longtime executive in 2011, according to Lawnewz.com.
According to an intent to sue letter obtained by the site, Huddy, 47, claimed that O’Reilly “propositioned her on multiple occasions,” including attempting to kiss her during a visit to his home and making “inappropriate phone calls” to her.
“In the letter, Huddy said when she refused to comply with O’Reilly’s advances, she was booted from the show despite having ‘one of the highest rated segments,’ ” the site states.
As for Abernethy (who was recently appointed co-president of Fox News), Huddy claimed that he “constantly called her at the office and asking her to come by his office.”
According to the site, “Huddy, through her attorney, sent Fox News the notice several weeks after Ailes was ousted from the network in July.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, a Fox News spokesperson noted, “Juliet Huddy’s letter of intent to sue contained substantial falsehoods which both men vehemently denied.”
A person briefed on the situation said that the company was aware of Huddy’s false allegations when they signed Abernethy to a new multi-year deal in September 2016.
Jeanne M. Christensen, a lawyer for Ms. Huddy at Wigdor L.L.P., declined to comment.
Huddy, who joined Fox in 1998, made her official exit from Fox News in 2009 but continued to be a frequent guest on multiple Fox News segments. The newscaster moved to Fox-owned New York affiliate Fox 5 New York in 2012, where she anchored the 4:30 a.m. time slot. After four years, the anchor left the network in early September.
“I finally — after years of working in television — understand what it feels to be connected to a community,” she said during her last morning segment on Fox 5. “It is time for me now to move on.”
Huddy has yet address the allegations publicly.