Megyn Kelly refutes Bill O'Reilly's harassment denials
Megyn Kelly poses on the set of her new show "Megyn Kelly Today." Photo: Charles Sykes / Invision / AP
Megyn Kelly spoke out against her former Fox News colleague Bill O'Reilly on NBC News' Megyn Kelly Today this morning, stating, "O'Reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained."
The background: Kelly's assertion comes on the heels of O'Reilly's repeated denials of sexual misconduct during his time at Fox News. A NYT report was published over the weekend detailing his $32 million settlement agreement with a former Fox News analyst over a harassment claim.
More from Kelly: She also shared an email that she wrote to the co-presidents of Fox News in November 2016 after O'Reilly said in a CBS interview that "wasn't interested" in her discussion of Fox News' toxic professional climate in her memoir: "Perhaps he didn't realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment."
How O'Reilly responded to the latest report: Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt, the New York Times reporters who broke the story about O'Reilly's massive settlement agreement, shared some of their on-the-record interview tapes with O'Reilly with the NYT's The Daily podcast.
In O'Reilly's own words:
- "We have physical proof that this is bullshit. Bullshit. Okay? So it's on you if you want to destroy my children further."
- "This is crap. And you know it. It's politically and financially motivated. And we can prove it with shocking information."
- "Leaks are not facts. Leaks are designed to hurt people, and surely you both know that."
- "I've never had one complaint filed against me by a co-worker in any Human Resources department."
O'Reilly also went on the record with his former Fox News colleague Glenn Beck this morning and repeated a similar defense while arguing that there is a larger conspiracy meant to end his career, per Media Matters for America:
- "The end game is, 'Let's link Bill O'Reilly with Harvey Weinstein.'"
- "[T]hey don't care because this was a hit job to get me out of the market place. And then you'll have the left go, oh, he's paranoid, oh, yeah, yeah. OK. I could back that up 50 different ways. Media Matters is involved. CNN is involved. And it's beyond any doubt."
O'Reilly posted a statement on his website with a sworn affidavit from his accuser that he claims refutes the reports. He has promised to address the allegations further tonight on No Spin News, his nightly podcast.
Her full email:
"Perhaps he didn't know that I specifically discussed with Rupert Murdoch whether I should include a chapter on Ailes, and that Rupert (and Lachlan, and Robert Thompson) all told me that I needed to... Perhaps he didn't realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment... Perhaps he didn't realize that his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment — on grounds that "it will disgrace the company" is in part how Fox News got into the decade-long Ailes mess to begin with... Perhaps it's his own history of harassment of women which has, as you both know, resulted in payouts to more than one woman, including recently, that blinded him to the folly of saying anything other than 'I am just so sorry for the women of this company who never should have had to go through that.'... Whatever the reason, you've got a hell of a guy hosting that 8pm hour... I'll be on the same CBS show tomorrow. I have no doubt they'll ask me about Bill's comments.