Dismissed “O’Reilly Factor” host Bill O’Reilly has issued a statement on his termination, adding to a statement from his lawyer that sincerely called the campaign to oust him “a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”
O’Reilly, a self-proclaimed Catholic who’s written a book about Jesus Christ, was at the center of a storm caused by years of alleged sexual harassment against former guests and coworkers on the “The O’Reilly Factor,” as well as domestic abuse committed against ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy. A New York Times exposé revealed that O’Reilly and Fox had settled five separate sexual harassment cases for north of $13 million in total. Many of the women who sued had recorded phone calls with O’Reilly.
Today, O’Reilly issued a statement on the end of his career at Fox while on a flight from Italy. He met with the Pope in Vatican City just before his removal. He says it is “tremendously sad” to part ways with the network over claims he calls “completely unfounded,” though O’Reilly does not clarify why he and his legal team refused to challenge the “completely unfounded” claims in court.
“That is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today,” he concludes, adding that he will remember his time at Fox “with great pride in the unprecedented success [he and the network] achieved.”