Megyn Kelly, 46, claimed she once complained about anchor Bill O’Reilly‘s inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace! The host spoke out about the incident during a TODAY show episode this Monday, saying she emailed Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy to talk about the anchor’s incorrect conduct and was simply dismissed.
“By 8 p.m. that night, O’Reilly had apparently been dealt with, and by that I mean he was permitted with management’s advance notice and blessing to go on the air and attack the company’s harassment victims yet again,” she said.
Her claim came after The New York Times reported that O’Reilly, 68, settled a $32 million sexual harassment claim with Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl in January and was later given a new contract by the company.
Trying to defend himself, O’Reilly claimed in a statement that no woman has ever spoken out about his alleged misconduct.
Kelly – who worked at Fox for over a decade – fired back this Monday, saying on-air “O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained.”
Kelly previously spoke out about being sexually harassed by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, in her Settle for More memoir.
When asked to speak about the tell-all book, O’Reilly told CBS News: “I’m not interested in basically litigating something that is finished that makes my network look bad. I’m not interested in making my network look bad at all. That doesn’t interest me one bit.”
Kelly responded via email, saying: “Perhaps he didn’t realize the kind of message his criticism sent 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.”
Kelly then went on to bash the Fox execs by speaking of O’Reilly’s alleged “history of harassment with women, which has, as you both know, resulted in payouts to more than one woman.”
She also claimed that unfortunately O’Reilly’s actions were nothing new, but should still be addressed if we plan to end the problem.
“Women everywhere are used to being dismissed, ignored or attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions. They stay silent so often out of fear,” she said. “It gives me no pleasure to report such news about my former employer, which has absolutely made some reforms since all of this went down. But this must stop. The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact. It has to stop.”
Kelly continued, saying she made her email public because she believes “it speaks volumes about powerful men and the roadblocks one can face in taking them on.”
O’Reilly was fired from Fox News this past April after The New York Times revealed that five women were paid millions in settlements following sexual harassment claims.