Bill O'Reilly Denies Sexual Harassment Claims: 'It's Horrible What I Went Through'
O'Reilly reportedly paid a former colleague $32 million over the accusations.
Bill O'Reilly is slamming reports he sexually assaulted former Fox News personality Lis Wiehl, claiming what he had to go through was "horrible."
He reportedly paid Wiehl $32 million in a massive settlement that was kept secret until it was revealed by the New York Times on Saturday.
On Monday, The Times released audio of an interview with O’Reilly last week. In the recording, he furiously lashed out at the newspaper over its reporting.
“This is horrible. It's horrible what I went through, horrible what my family went through. It's crap and you know it,” he said. “We have physical proof that this is bulls***! So it's on you if you want to destroy my children further because it's all crap."
For 15 years Wiehl appeared as a legal analyst on The O’Reilly Factor until December 20, 2016.
Behind the scenes, according to the Times, she was accusing O'Reilly of non-consensual sexual relations and of emailing her pornographic material. O'Reilly made the allegations go away when his lawyers negotiated the $32 million settlement.
The settlement is to be paid out over four years, apparently designed to ensure Wiehl's silence. In return, the Harvard-educated lawyer reportedly agreed to destroy his emails and texts. She also signed an affidavit, which read: “We have since resolved all our issues. I have no claims against Bill O'Reilly."
Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, told Inside Edition it's the largest sexual harassment settlement he's seen.
“According to The Times, Wiehl alleged she had a non consensual relationship," he said. "I know when you hear that term a lot of people think that could mean rape but it could also mean she couldn’t get out of the relationship because he had so much power over her.”
O'Reilly's former Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly was also shocked by the settlement figure.
“That is a jaw-dropping figure,” she said at the top of Megyn Kelly Today Monday. “O.J. Simpson was ordered to pay the Goldman and Brown families $33.5 million for the murders of Ron [Goldman] and Nicole [Brown Simpson]. What on Earth would justify that amount? What awfulness went on?”
Another former Fox News, Juliet Huddy, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today and denounced O’Reilly, who paid her a $1.6 million settlement in return for her silence.
“People have regrets when sign non-disclosure agreements,” she said. “You think it’s your best move but it's really not.”
Kelly said that type of behavior against women “has to stop.” She said that she had complained about O’Reilly’s behavior, despite his claims to the contrary.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained,” she said.
In all, O’Reilly paid out $45 million to six different women. He says the settlements were not an admission of guilt. Instead, he says he wanted to avoid trials that would have hurt his family.
He was fired from Fox News this year.
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