Lis Wiehl is no pushover. The journalist, attorney, and bestselling author received a landmark, headline-generating $32 million settlement arising from sexual harassment allegations against longtime Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly in 2017.
Wiehl won’t comment on the settlement, but the Larchmont resident, with ice-blue eyes that reveal her Scandinavian heritage, is friendly and voluble on other subjects. She admits getting weepy while watching Lifetime movies and is wistful about her empty nest and her days as a passionate baseball and soccer mom. But as a professional, she’s resolute.
“It’s a dark day for journalism,” Wiehl says. Though her 15-year tenure at Fox did not overlap with the Trump presidency, she emphasizes that “freedom of the press is an absolute” and “a check on government.” Consequently, she advises consuming as broad a media diet as possible.
“It’s a dark day for journalism. Freedom of the press is an absolute.”
Early in her career, Wiehl worked as a prosecutor in the US Attorney’s office. She also served as counsel for the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. Along the way, Wiehl provided legal commentary for NPR and MSNBC, in addition to O’Reilly’s radio show.
As an author, Wiehl’s books range from nonfiction career advice to legal thrillers. After publishing her 18th book, Hunting Charles Manson this year, Wiehl says she wishes more attention were paid to her appearances on the New York Times best-seller list than on her departure from Fox.
But Wiehl is not finished with journalism. Currently an anchor and analyst for Law & Crime, a live-streaming network, Wiehl says she enjoys the start-up atmosphere, as well as the freedom to innovate. Recently she launched her Pursuit of Justice with Lis Wiehl podcast with the network.
Publishing, anchoring, podcasting — with a hefty settlement, why doesn’t Wiehl just relax at this point? “It’s fun and interesting,” she says of her job. “I love the reporting.”