Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)
John Huddy, a Jerusalem- based Fox News correspondent, was summarily fired on Monday after three years with the company.
Huddy says his firing was linked to his sister’s allegations of sexual harassment against political commentator Bill O’Reilly. The network says Huddy was let go after a physical altercation on the job.
There was no physical altercation of any sort, Huddy told The Jerusalem Post
“It never happened,” he said. “Fox’s accusation is false and damaging and I will not stand for it.”
Huddy said he is retaining a lawyer and that “the first I heard I was terminated for a ‘physical altercation’ was by reading it in the news.”
He arrived in Israel in June 2014, and has been working for Fox News ever since. Before that he worked for Fox5 in New York City.
Huddy told the Post that on the day he was fired, Fox News took his car, computer and phone, all of which were Fox property, leaving him struggling to stay in communication with anyone.
Huddy said he wants to stay in Jerusalem.
“My wife – who is Israeli and from Jerusalem – is a third year nursing student at Hebrew University/Hadassah Medical Center and three months pregnant, so returning to the US is difficult,” he said. “I want to remain here.”
Huddy’s sister, Juliet Huddy, was one of the many women who accused longtime Fox News host O’Reilly of sexual harassment. She quietly left the network in September 2016, and reached a settlement with the company last January.
O’Reilly was fired in April after revelations that he had paid millions of dollars in settlements to past accusers. Last week, it was revealed he had paid another $32 million settlement to a former colleague.
After the latest revelation, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly had Juliet Huddy on her NBC News show on Monday to discuss her accusations against O’Reilly.
Juliet said it was scary to speak up to anyone at Fox about harassment.
“You know that you’re just this one person that’s about to go up against literally a machine,” she said. “And it is daunting and it’s frightening and it kind of it holds you back from taking action.” She added that many had the feeling that the human resources department was “protecting the bosses, not protecting the employees which is what they’re supposed to be there, for so that’s an intimidating factor.”
Juliet said that even after leaving the network, appearing on Kelly’s show made her afraid of fallout.
“I’m terrified,” she said.
“I’m actually terrified and I don’t know why.”
On the same day that Juliet appeared on the show, John Huddy was fired from his position. Kelly noted the timing on her show the next day.
“Before the end of our show yesterday, before the 9 o’clock hour had concluded, Fox News fired Juliet’s brother, John Huddy, a Fox News correspondent,” Kelly added, pointedly.
In an emailed statement, Fox News said Huddy was fired because of a physical altercation and the timing was entirely coincidental.
“Following a thorough investigation into a physical altercation earlier this month, Fox News made the decision to sever ties with Jerusalem- based correspondent John Huddy,” the company said. “The network’s investigation concluded last week, and due to observation of the Sabbath on Friday, terminated Huddy’s employment this morning.”
Huddy is angry about how things ended, and he is ready to fight.
“I’m proud of the work I did at Fox News,” he said. “But disappointed by the way things ended.”