News of another gigantic Fox News settlement to address claims against former anchor Bill O’Reilly — to the tune of $32 million — broke over the weekend. The network had reportedly settled with network legal analyst Lis Wiehl, who alleged a “nonconsensual sexual relationship” with O’Reilly, according to the Washington Post.
A statement from O’Reilly’s team claimed it was another instance of being “maliciously smeared” by the New York Times with “leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass [him] and to keep him from competing in the marketplace.”
That attracted the attention of former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, once a colleague of O’Reilly. In a statement on the Today show, Kelly took her former colleague to task on his claim that “not one complaint was filed against him with the Human Resources Department or Legal Department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline.”
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior,” she stated, “is false. I know because I complained.”
She then recounts her experience contacting the co-presidents of Fox News, Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, to combat O’Reilly’s line that he was “not interested” in sexual harassment claims that he said “makes my network look bad.”
“Perhaps he didn’t realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women of this country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment,” she read from an email she sent to the presidents. “Perhaps he didn’t realize his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment on the grounds that it will disgrace the company is how Fox News got into the decade-long Ailes mess to begin with.”