Former Fox News Channel fixture Bill O’Reilly lashed out after a story broke over the weekend on an alleged $32 million settlement O’Reilly reportedly struck over sexual harassment allegations.
The story, published by The New York Times, reports: “Last January, six months after Fox News ousted its chairman amid a sexual harassment scandal, the network’s top-rated host at the time, Bill O’Reilly, struck a $32 million agreement with a longtime network analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations, according to two people briefed on the matter — an extraordinarily large amount for such cases.”
The Times also reports: “Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman’s complaints about Mr. O’Reilly. They included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter.”
The report notes that the agreement was at least the sixth made by either O’Reilly or the company, and by far the largest, to settle harassment allegations against O’Reilly. “Despite that record, 21st Century Fox began contract negotiations with Mr. O’Reilly, and in February granted him a four-year extension that paid $25 million a year,” The Times reports.
O’Reilly went on the offensive against The Times in response to the story, with CNN quoting him saying the paper “obviously hates me.”
“But he has not disputed the facts surrounding his $32 million settlement with longtime Fox News colleague Lis Wiehl, who was a legal analyst for the network,” CNN reports, adding: “Saturday’s story in The Times about the incredibly expensive settlement has caused widespread speculation about why O’Reilly was willing to agree to such a deal. He says he didn’t want to subject his family to an embarrassing lawsuit and trial.”
O’Reilly, who has reportedly been trying to arrange a TV comeback, talked about the Times story this morning on Glenn Beck’s radio show, alleging that The Times is trying to ruin his career, CNN reports, quoting O’Reilly saying: “The end game is, ‘Let’s link Bill O’Reilly with Harvey Weinstein'” and “take him out of the marketplace forever.”
“He also suggested there is a conspiracy against him involving CNN, the liberal and anti-Fox press watchdog group Media Matters for America, and others,” CNN reports.
Megyn Kelly, a former colleague of both O’Reilly and Wiehl, offered a strong commentary on O’Reilly this morning on her NBC show “Megyn Kelly Today” in response to the latest allegations. You can see a clip of her comments below.
In response to Kelly’s commentary, The Washington Examiner reports, an attorney for O’Reilly published thank-you notes from Kelly to O’Reilly in which she expresses gratitude for his support.
Here’s today’s Megyn Kelly commentary, posted by NBC …