Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly‘s behavior toward the end of fellow personality Megyn Kelly‘s time at the network contributed to herdecision to leave Fox in January and join NBC News,the New York Timesreported.
According to two sourcesfamiliar with the matter, Kelly’s departure from Fox News was partially fueled by O’Reilly’s repeateddismissal of sexual harassment accusations against networkfounder Roger Ailes, who was ousted last year afterhost Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes and Fox News for sexual harassment. Of those accusations were Kelly’s, who included her own harassment accusations in her latest book.
The behavior in question began when O’Reilly appeared onCBS This Morningon Nov. 15 to discuss his new children’s book, and he was asked about Kelly’s accusations (her book had been published that day). O’Reilly replied saying he wasn’t “interested,” and he expanded by saying, “I am not interested in basically litigating something that is finished that makes my network look bad.”
“Look, its open season, O’Reilly said.Lets whack the Fox News Channel. Ive had enough of it. Its a good place to work. All right?
In response, Kelly allegedly sent an email to the new co-presidents of the network, writing that O’Reilly’s comments were inappropriate and that he had no business lecturing women about sexual harassmentin 2004, O’Reilly settled harassment allegations made by a producer for $9 million.
Kelly also said this “push for blind loyalty” for Fox is what led to the company’s culture of silencing sexual harassmentaccusations in the first place.Multiple people had knowledge of the email, and four spoke tothe Times anonymously.
O’Reilly doubled down on his comments later that day on the TheO’Reilly Factor, playing a clip of hisCBS appearance and saying he was “not amused” by the subject matter’s turn toward allegations against his company and Ailes.
If you dont like whats happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave, O’Reilly said. Kelly announced her departure in January.
Earlier this month,the Times reported that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News had settled five sexual harassment suits against the host, leading to more than 50 advertisers pulling out fromThe O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly is currently on vacation from the show, the fate of his future with the network in the hands of the owners, the Murdoch family.
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