Megyn Kelly on Monday said that she lodged her own complaint with Fox News about host Bill O'Reilly in November 2016 but was not satisfied with the response that she received from Bill Shine, one of Fox's co-presidents.
During her monologue on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today," Kelly offered a response to a New York Times report over the weekend that O'Reilly allegedly reached a $32 million settlement in a lawsuit levied against him by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl.
The report added that O'Reilly was offered a four-year contract renewal by Fox, despite the company's reported knowledge of the settlement.
O'Reilly has maintained his innocence with regard to the suit and has denied any wrongdoing.
What did Kelly say?
- Kelly, just before segueing into her scheduled interview with O’Reilly accuser and former Fox News reporter Juliet Huddy, addressed the Times report on Wiehl's settlement.
- Discussing the Times report, which she called "shocking" and "upsetting," Kelly rehashed details of the reported settlement between O'Reilly and Wiehl.
- "What on earth would justify that amount? What awfulness went on?" she asked.
- Kelly said that O'Reilly called the Times report a "malicious smear," and noted his response that no woman in 20 years had ever complained to human resources or legal about him.
- "O'Reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false," Kelly said. "I know because I complained."
- Kelly said that after O'Reilly appeared on "CBS This Morning" in 2013, where he noted that he was "not interested in basically litigating something that is finished that makes my network look bad," she contacted Fox's then-co-presidents via email.
- Kelly said that her email slammed O'Reilly over his "attitude of shaming women."
- "Bill Shine called me in response to my email, promising to deal with O’Reilly,” Kelly added.
- According to Kelly, "dealing with" O'Reilly meant he was allowed to go back on the air again to blast accusers.
- "This is not unique to Fox News," Kelly said. "Women everywhere are used to being dismissed, ignored, or attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions. They stay silent so often out of fear. Fear of ending their career, fear of lawyers, yes. And often fear of public shaming, including through the media."
- Kelly even attacked Fox News head of media relations, Irena Briganti. "At Fox News, the media relations chief Irena Briganti is known for her vindictiveness. To this day she pushes negative articles on certain [Roger] Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now."
- She added that Fox News, her former employer, has "absolutely made some reforms since all of this went down," but added that sexual harassment culture "must stop."
- "But this must stop — the abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening and the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact," Kelly concluded. "It has to stop."
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 23, 2017
Did O'Reilly respond?
O’Reilly spoke with radio host Glenn Beck on his nationally syndicated show on Monday, where he shed a different light on Kelly's attitude toward him by sharing letters he'd received from her.
In response to @megynkelly’s criticism, Bill O’Reilly’s spox just released two notes she wrote to him: https://t.co/PSynCAg3qX— Paul Farhi (@Paul Farhi)1508772879.0
In her letters, Kelly thanked the former Fox star for being a "mentor," a "friend," and more.
One of the two undated letters read:
Dear Bill: What a class act you are, coming to my baby shower. I was truly touched - I know how busy you are, especially that time of day. It meant a lot to me + Doug. And thank you for the darling bodysuits + snuggly – it’s hard to believe will soon have a little human being in our lives tiny enough to fit in them.
You’ve become a dear friend (no matter what you say) + I am grateful to have you in my life.
-Megyn & Doug
The second letter read:
Thanks for the plug on Doug’s book. I realize you didn’t have to do that, especially after mentioning it already.
I appreciate how supportive you have been of me over the years here @ FNC.
You are a true friend + mentor.