NEW YORK – Bill O’Reilly, forced out at Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, has said no one ever filed a complaint about his behavior with human resources or the legal department in the 20 years he was at the network.
That doesn’t mean top executives weren’t warned, former colleague Megyn Kelly said Monday.
Kelly, speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, detailed an email she sent to Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy, then co-presidents of Fox News, in November 2016 that called attention to O’Reilly’s alleged “history of harassment of women.” Kelly left the network in January and now works for NBC.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false,” Kelly said in the TV segment.
O’Reilly’s comment was in response to a New York Times article Sunday that said the network had renewed his contract earlier this year even after learning he had reached a settlement with an accuser. And 21st Century Fox Inc., the parent of Fox News, told the newspaper it wasn’t aware that O’Reilly had agreed to pay the woman $32 million in the settlement. Fox parted ways with O’Reilly in April.
A spokesman for O’Reilly, Mark Fabiani, offered no direct response to Kelly’s statements but sent copies of thank-you notes she had written to O’Reilly for mentioning her husband’s book on air and for a baby shower gift.
The company said in an email “21st Century Fox has taken concerted action to transform Fox News, including installing new leaders, overhauling management and on-air talent, expanding training, and increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination.”