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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 20, 2017 12:37am-1:05am EDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, factored out. >> the no-spin zone. >> bill o'reilly ousted from pox news as sexual harassment claims against him continue to pile up. >> this is the tip of the iceberg. >> arguably the most powerful man in cable news for two decades, why the network finally gave up on its star. plus, mysterious death? the former patriots star aaron hernandez found hanged in his prison cell in an apparent suicide. his illustrious rise from a troubled youth to a $40 million nfl star. >> touchdown hernandez! >> his tragic fall from grace and why some family members and friends say he could not possibly have taken his own life. and winning for two. the stunning revelation, serena
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williams eight weeks pregnant when she won the australian open. the snapchat post and her revealing message that tipped off her fans. but first here tonight the "nightline 5." dry mouth can affect how your mouth feels and how you feel. discover act dry mouth. specially formulated to soothe and moisturize your mouth. and try new act dry mouth spray. for relief when you need it. meta appetite control. it's your glass of will power. that helped keep cravings far, far away. feel less hungry with the natural fiber and clinically proven meta appetite control from
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good evening and we begin here tonight with a breathtaking fall from grace for one of the
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most powerful men in media. bill o'reilly was the conservative colossus who stood astride primetime cable news for 20 years. tonight he's out of a job at fox news after a wave of sexual harassment allegations. here's abc's nick watt. >> reporter: bill o'reilly. siren of the right. fox news colossus for two decades. watched nightly by millions. >> you are about to enter the no-spin zone. >> reporter: today the ax fell after multiple accusations of sexual and now racial discrimination. 67-year-old o'reilly the pioneer of opinion-led commentary on cable news is gone. >> for 20 years, bill o'reilly was the most important face of the most important cable news network. >> reporter: the end came just hours after lawyer lisa bloom detailed the testimony of yet another accuser. >> she said that he would walk by her desk and say, mmm-mmm! and grunt and moan at her. otherwise he would never talk to her.
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he'd say, looking good, looking good, girl, when she got off the elevator. and probably most offensive to her was that he had a nickname for her, hot chocolate. she's african-american. >> fire bill o'reilly! >> reporter: allegations against him have swirled for years. perhaps the public protests, the advertiser exodus from the o'reilly factor, finally forcing his employer's hand. today while o'reilly shook hands with the pope in rome on his easter vacation, in new york, the network's parent company issued this statement. after a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and bill o'reilly have agreed that bill o'reilly will not be returning to the fox news channel. this evening o'reilly released a statement that reads in part, it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. i will always look back on my time with fox with great pride.
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no details on his exit. when his former boss chairman roger ailes was forced out after a sexual harassment scandal last year, he received a payout. >> bill o'reilly is arguably going to walk away with more than roger ailes did. >> reporter: a memo obtained by abc news reads in part, fox news has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. we have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. o'reilly reportedly earned around $18 million a year at fox and brought in maybe five times that in ad revenue. >> welcome to tucker carlson tonight. >> reporter: tucker carlson will take his primetime slot starting monday. the beginning of the end came april 1 with the "new york times" expose which claimed five women who accused o'reilly of historic harassment were given settlements totally roughly $30 million on condition they would never talk. abc news has not independently verified these claims. two days later, april 3 in los
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angeles, lisa bloom revealed another o'reilly accuser. >> i'm not litigious. i don't want any money. there's no lawsuit. >> reporter: 2013, dr. wendy walsh began a thursday night slot on o'reilly's show. >> we are beginning a new segment called are we crazy? >> reporter: it was a tryout. soon she says she got a dinner invite from o'reilly's assistant. >> and i thought, wow, the big boss, wow. he brought it up first as soon as we sat down to dinner saying, we'd like to make you a contributor. >> reporter: after dinner she says -- >> as we walked past the hostess stand at the restaurant, he turned right towards the bedrooms. i turned left towards the bar. and he caught up with me and said, no, no, come back to my suite. and i said, i'm sorry, i can't do that. and then he became hostile. all his charmingness went away. and he said the words "you can forget all the business advice i gave you, you're on your own." >> jimmy: >> reporter: that night, april 3rd, advertisers began to abandon o'reilly's show. o'reilly issued a statement,
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like other prominent and controversial people i'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. >> i think one of the reasons why my clients got so much love from the public in the last couple of weeks is because they're not asking for any money. >> reporter: two days later, april 5th, even the president and avid fox news fan weighed in during an interview with "the new york times." >> i think he shouldn't have settled, personally. i think he shouldn't have settled. because i know bill, bill's a good person. i don't think bill would do anything wrong. >> reporter: the advertiser exodus trickle became a flood but o'reilly's ratings strong, even grew, averaging 3.7 million every night last week. his viewers apparently untroubled by repeated reports o'reilly was a serial offender. accused of publicly accosting a producer. and a woman who says she taped the conversations. she sued. >> i came back because he agreed to not ever talk to me that way
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again. >> you claim he said the words to the effect, if any woman breathed a word i'd make her pay so dearly she'd wish she'd never been born this. >> correct. >> we filed an extortion lawsuit. >> reporter: o'reilly fired back this court and on the air. >> this is the single most evil thing i have ever experienced and i've seen a lot. these people picked the wrong guy. they can throw anything they want at me, i'll take it. in the end, we'll see who's left standing. >> reporter: they settled and 13 years later the "new york times" reported that o'reilly personally paid her $9 million with both parties agreeing in that settlement that no wrongdoing whatsoever had occurred. the "times" also reporting in 2011, o'reilly also personally settled with former fox business channel host rebecca gomez diamond for $1 million. >> there's no question that there is a toxic culture at fox news of sexual harassment and retaliation. >> reporter: the problem was even bigger than o'reilly. fox ex-chairman roger ailes gave former fox and friends age
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correspond gretchen carlson a $20 million settlement and apology. she claimed he sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances. >> i hope i've helped other women to win. >> reporter: ailes said, i will not allow my presence to become a distraction. >> we're talking here about a culture of sexual harassment. a culture, a hostile work environment that they knew they had a problem with. they knew it because it came from the top down. >> reporter: admit of last week, the tide began to turn. against informatifox's biggest . o'reilly took what was characterized as a preplanned vacation. >> we have a contest, guess where bill's going, a full report when i return. >> reporter: he never did. this was his final fox sign-off. >> thanks for watching us tonight, i'm bill o'reilly. please remember the spin stops here. >> reporter: dozens of women gathered outside fox headquarters in new york
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demanding his ouster. >> fire bill o'reilly! >> reporter: eventually more than 70 advertisers pulled out of the o'reilly factor. today fox finally parted company with its highest-rated star. >> my clients who had the courage to step forward were vindicated. we got some accountability today. >> reporter: that fox internal memo reads in part, the decision follows an extensive review done in clack race with us on counsel. lastly and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect." >> this isn't over for fox news. more women have come forward. and may be retaining her. so this is just really the very beginning. >> everyone who has been an enabler for either mr. ailes, mr. o'reilly, or any others who have paid out millions of dollars in sexual harassment claims, those people should all be gone. >> hi, thanks for watching us tonight -- >> reporter: the o'reilly factor
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aired with a guest host in the chair. but now it's just called "the factor." i'm nick watt for "nightline" in los angeles. next, aaron hernandez, the former star, tight end for the new england patriots, found dead in his prison cell. it comes just days after he was seen crying tears of joy in a courtroom. what his friends are saying tonight. i have spent years taking over-the-counter products for my belly pain and constipation. i've had it up to here! it's been month after month of fiber. weeks taking probiotics! days and nights of laxatives, only to have my symptoms return. (vo) if you've had enough, tell your doctor what you've tried and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. it can help relieve your belly pain, and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements that are easier to pass. do not give linzess to children less than six, and it should not be given to children six to less than 18. it may harm them.
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now to the story that is sending waves of astonishment through the sports world. the one-time star tight end for the new england patriots aaron hernandez was found dead in his prison cell this morning on the
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same day when his former teammates from the patriots were at the white house celebrating a super bowl win. >> hernandez! >> a shocking ending for a young man who was not long ago seemingly on top of the world. aaron hernandez an up and comer on the powerhouse new england patriots. he played in a super bowl. >> touchdown hernandez! >> reporter: and had a contract worth $40 million. but shortly after 3:00 this morning prison guards found the 27-year-old unresponsive in his cell at the souza-baranowski correctional center in shirley, massachusetts. officials say he was found hanging from a bed sheet with a bible verse john 3:16, a reference to eternal life through jesus, written across his forehead. hernandez was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of odin lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of hernandez's
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fiancee. >> the first thing you think of when you hear about the death of aaron hernandez is the death of odin lloyd and what his family had to go through with his death. >> reporter: only five days ago -- >> you find the defendant not guilty, guilty of murder in the first degree, guilty of murder in the second degree? >> not guilty. >> reporter: he had just been acquitted in a separate murder case. after the jury read the verdict hernandez mouthed the words "i love you" to his fiancee. his cousin says the family is in pain tonight. >> he was the first one to make it. from our side of the family, he was the first one. >> reporter: reaction to hernandez's death pouring in from around the country. the rapper snoop dogg tweeting, this is sad. former wide receiver donte stallworth reminding the world that hernandez's 4-year-old daughter will forever suffer from this loss. >> at the risk of sounding cold or callous, i was somewhat indifferent to the news.
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because at the end of the day we're talking about someone with a very violent past who killed someone. most of my condolences still go to the families that are missing loved ones. >> reporter: today officials at the massachusetts department of corrections said they had no prior concern that hernandez was planning to take his own life. lawyers for hernandez say they were actually exploring an appeal to the murder conviction for which he was serving the life sentence. those who knew hernandez personally are expressing doubts as to whether he killed himself. >> we still think that there's no way that aaron would take his own life. >> reporter: one of his agents, brian murphy, took to twitter to say, absolutely no chance he took his own life. the massachusetts state police and the worcester county da's office are investigating the circumstances of hernandez's death. an autopsy is being performed in boston. they're also looking at his recent time in prison, including prior fights and any gang-related disputes he may
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have had. hernandez was found dead just hours before his former teammates from the patriots paid a visit to the white house to celebrate their recent super bowl victory. a spokesperson for the patriots said they would not be commenting today on hernandez's death. the patriots head coach, bill belichick, when asked during a recent cnbc interview what one word he would use to describe hernandez said -- >> tragedy. >> heartbreaking. >> yes. that would be another word. >> reporter: aaron hernandez was raised in a tough neighborhood in bristol, connecticut. when he was a teenager he suffered the grievous loss of his father with whom he was very close. >> i think any young child who loses a parent at such an impressionable age, particularly somebody that needed that guidance, it's obviously a huge setback for that particular person. >> reporter: a few years later, hernandez rose to fame as an all-american tight end at the university of florida, winning the 2009 national championship. >> aaron hernandez was an
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all-state player, highly recruited. he had first-round talent. >> reporter: he eventually went on to play for the new england patriots from 2010 to 2012. >> this is someone who was seen as a very, very talented individual, and young, and someone who was supposed to be part of the organization for a long time. >> reporter: signing that five-year, $40 million deal and hitting the field for super bowl xlvi. >> touchdown hernandez! >> reporter: but he was cut from the team in 2013 after his arrest in the murder of odin lloyd. >> this was a complete shock to new england and certainly to the sports world. >> reporter: hernandez charged with first-degree murder and went on trial in january of 2015. >> you orchestrated, participated in the killing, and covered up the killing. >> reporter: prosecutors say hernandez and two of his friends picked up lloyd at his home in boston in june of 2013 and drove him to an industrial park where they killed him. he pled not guilty, but in april of 2015, he was convicted of
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first-degree murder. >> guilty of murder in the first degree. >> reporter: which carries a mandatory life sentence. >> he was stone-faced. very little emotion. he looked at his fiancee, who was absolutely in tears, and mouthed the words "stay strong." >> reporter: it was a precipitous crash for a once-beloved player. his cousin remembers better times. >> whenever he came from practice or he came into town he would always ask every one of us if we needed anything, what can i do for you? he was a good-hearted person and not the mean-spirited, evil that all these other people comment on or see him as. >> reporter: two years after his conviction in the odin lloyd case, hernandez would go on trial again, this time for another set of murders. he was accused of shooting two men after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on him at a bar. that was the not guilty verdict that came down on friday. just days after this scene,
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hernandez would be dead. a sad and surprising twist in a once-promising young life that went horribly awry. next here we move on to an entirely different kind of story from the sports world. the big happy headline from serena williams today. wish your skin could bounce back like it used to? neutrogena® hydro boost water gel. instantly quenches skin to keep it supple and hydrated day after day. with hydrating hyaluronic acid, which retains up to a thousand times its weight in water. this refreshing water gel plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin that bounces back. the hydro boost skincare line from neutrogena®. see what's possible. at red lobster's lobsterfestime.
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finally tonight, as if we could ever be more impressed with serena williams, we're learning she won the australian open a few months back while pregnant. the queen of tennis revealing she's pregnant with her first child. serena williams posting this snapchat selfie with the caption "20 weeks." that 20-week timeline would mean she was pregnant when she dominated the australian open. winning her 23rd grand slam tournament against her sister venus, or should we say, aunt venus. williams' rep telling abc news, i'm happy to confirm serena is expecting a baby this fall.
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social media has been erupting in celebration. one twitter user writing, serena williams won a grand slam while she was pregnant so every man should probably shut up about everything forever. another tweeting, can't wait for 53-year-old serena and her kid to win the 2034 wimbledon doubles, mixed doubles if a boy. her engagement to reddit's cofounder and she shared this picture of them smiling on the beach. this power couple joins another crazy in love duo currently expecting. ♪ crazy in the range >> nobody can forget beyonce's epic instagram announcement. ♪ i'm sorry >> and i'm not sorry to say a play date between the children of these two all-stars would be quite a match. thanks for watching abc news. gma first thing in the morning, and of course we are online 24/7 at and on our "nightline" facebook page. thanks again for watching and good night.


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