After The New York Times ran a bombshell story on a newly-discovered, $32 million settlement deal between Bill O’Reilly and one of the women who accused him of sexual harassment, the former Fox News host promised to reveal information establishing his innocence on Monday.
My investigative team has done a superb job in exposing the lies and smear. I will speak with you on Monday.
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) October 21, 2017
In an interview with The New York Times, O’Reilly described this allegedly exculpatory information as “shocking.” O’Reilly chose to reveal this information in an interview with former Fox News host Glenn Beck on Monday morning.
“All I’m saying is the truth,” O’Reilly told Beck. “Twenty years, six months [at] Fox News Channel. I resolved three things. That is the truth.”
The Times report, published on Saturday, outlined a massive, $32 million settlement between O’Reilly and former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl over “allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her.”
In response O’Reilly offered four pieces of information: 1. A January 2017 affidavit that Wiehl signed in exchange for her $32 million settlement, stating that she had resolved any issues with him and would not pursue any claims against him, 2. A 2009 note from Megyn Kelly thanking O’Reilly for buying her a baby gift, 3. Another note from Megyn Kelly thanking O’Reilly for blurbing her husband’s book in 2012, and 4. Another thank you note from Gretchen Carlson.
That is it.
“We’ve got letters from Getchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly to me, posted [on BillOReilly.com],” O’Reilly told Beck on Monday. “Everything is there. You still wanna think I’m a bad guy? Go ahead. The truth is the truth.”
The evidence itself is hardly proof of O’Reilly’s innocence, however.
While O’Reilly claimed on Monday that the signed affidavit was proof Wiehl’s claims were false, that’s not exactly the case. As the Times report points out, the affidavit simply meant that Wiehl would be “paid over a period of time to ensure her silence. In return, she agreed not to sue Mr. O’Reilly, Fox News or 21st Century Fox.” Additionally, all material related to her complaints would be destroyed.
The three notes O’Reilly cited during Monday’s interview are even less impressive, though O’Reilly claims they’re concrete proof of his shining character and that all claims against him are simply part of an ugly smear campaign to push him out of the media industry. (Kelly, who left the network in January, claimed on Monday that she herself had complained about O’Reilly to executives.)
The 2009 baby shower note from Kelly reads,
Dear Bill, what a class act you are. Thank you for coming to my baby shower. I was truly touched. I know how busy you are, especially that time of the day. It meant a lot to me and Doug. Thank you for the darling bodysuits and snuggly. It’s hard to believe [we’ll] soon have a little human being in our lives to fit into those. You’ve become a dear friend, no matter what they say. And I am grateful to have you in my life.
The note is signed “Megyn and Doug.”
The second letter, a brief thank you for O’Reilly’s book plug from 2012, reads,
Thank you for the mention on Doug’s book. I realize you didn’t have to do that, especially after mentioning it already. I appreciate how supportive you have been to me over the years here at Fox News. You’re a true friend and mentor. xoxo, Megyn.
In response to Megyn Kelly's comments today, Bill O'Reilly's rep Mark Fabiani sent me photos of a couple thank you notes she sent O'Reilly pic.twitter.com/reqLJ9O5tM
— Tom Kludt (@TomKludt) October 23, 2017
Carlson’s note, an unspecified thank you message, is even more punctuated and vague. Only three sentences long, it reads,
Bill, thank you for being the calm in the sea. Thank you for being my friend. It means the world to me. GC.
The notes have no connection to any of the six women who O’Reilly paid millions to settle sexual harassment claims.
“So look. I think that anybody, any fair-minded person…can now start to formulate a picture here,” O’Reilly told Beck. “…Forty-three years, no complaints, 12 different companies. …Now, with the sworn affidavit, and these three letters, two by Megyn Kelly and one by Gretchen Carlson, a picture should start to emerge for any fair-minded person. And that’s all I can hope for — that the American people will see that this is an attack on an American citizen — me — for political purposes. And you know what? It’s done enormous damage to me and my family.”
This article has been updated to add the correspondence dates of the two thank you notes from Megyn Kelly to Bill O’Reilly.