United States television network Fox News on Wednesday removed one of its most popular hosts from the company following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and “inappropriate behaviour”. “Fox News is cutting ties with Bill O’Reilly, the biggest star in its 20-year history,” said parent company 21st Century Fox, adding that they made the decision based on “a thorough and careful review” of the accusations.

The sexual harassment cases against O’Reilly came to light after The New York Times, on April 1, reported that either 21st Century or the anchor himself had handed up to $13 million as payouts to five women, asking them to not press sexual harassment charges against him or speak about their claims against him. The women who made the accusations either worked for the 67-year-old or appeared on his popular show on Fox News, “The O’Reilly Factor”.

Lewd comments, verbal abuse, phone calls and unwanted advances were some of the allegations made against O’Reilly. “21st Century Fox takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously,” the company had said, adding that O’Reilly had denied the “merits of these claims”. “Mr. O’Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.”

Since the article drew a large readership, more than 50 advertisers cut ties with O’Reilly’s “The Factor”, according to The New York Times. While women’s rights groups had called for his sacking, women at Fox News had questioned the seriousness of the company’s leadership when it came to handling such cases.