Mercedes Benz pulled ads Monday from Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" after reports surfaced of settlements made with women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse from show host Bill O'Reilly.
"Yes, we had advertising running on 'The O'Reilly Factor' (we run on most major cable news shows), and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy," Donna Boland, the manager of corporate communications at Mercedes-Benz, told CNN. "The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don't feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now."
The New York Times first reported on the settlements. In its story, the Times said O'Reilly and Fox News paid $13 million in harassment settlements to five women who accused O’Reilly of misconduct. The accusers either worked for O'Reilly or appeared on his show.
O'Reilly denied the allegations.
"Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity," O'Reilly wrote on his website. "In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline."
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