Former Fox News star host Bill O'Reilly responded with sharp criticism to a New York Times exposé published Saturday that detailed a sexual misconduct settlement he made in January with a former Fox News colleague.
What did he say?
O'Reilly, through spokesman Mark Fabiani, said that the Times "maliciously smeared" him and chose to ignore facts and only relied on "unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete, leaked or stolen documents."
The TV host said the story is "out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass" him and keep him from competing for future TV contracts. He also explained:
- The Times failed to print the affidavit showing the woman at the center of the Times' story signed repudiating her claims against O'Reilly. O'Reilly did show it.
- All of the facts surrounding the sexual misconduct scandal at Fox News
- That Fox News upped O'Reilly's contact toward the beginning of 2017 despite knowing the allegations against him
- The Times has a history of printing stories that O'Reilly and his counsel cannot correct due to legally bound confidentiality agreements
- And: "Finally, in the more than 20 years Bill O'Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline. The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact."
What did he say on social media?
In addition to directing his followers to his response to the Times' story, O'Reilly tweeted:
My investigative team has done a superb job in exposing the lies and smear. I will speak with you on Monday.— Bill O'Reilly (@Bill O'Reilly) 1508628753.0
What did the Times report?
In a bombshell report, the Times reported that Fox News extended O'Reilly's contract — a four year, $100 million contract — after he settled a sexual misconduct suit levied by longtime Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl.
The amount that O'Reilly settled for — $32 million — and the fact that Fox still re-upped O'Reilly's after the fact, despite not knowing the details of the settlement at the time, is what made the story so big.