Bill O’Reilly appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show Monday morning to strike back at fresh reports that he shelled out a staggering $32 million to settle a sexual harassment suit with a former Fox News analyst.
The New York Times reported last week that O’Reilly settled with analyst Lis Wiehl after she accused him of a number of incidents of sexual harassment — and that just weeks later Fox News signed him on a four-year contract extension at $25 million a year.
“Taking a beating, but uh, still standing,” a weathered-sounding O’Reilly opened his interview with Beck.
The former Fox News titan — who was ousted from the network earlier this year after the Times reported on a number of sexual harassment settlements made by him — spent much of the interview declining to comment on specific allegations, citing the lawsuits as restricting his speech.
O’Reilly claimed that over the course of his long career in television, he has never had a complaint filed against him with human resources, before noting: “I want the story to go away because it’s brutalizing my family.”
“I’m not going to run and hide, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” O’Reilly claimed.
He then lambasted the New York Times for their reporting, declaring “the evidence that we’ve put forth is very strong, very compelling, that the New York Times wants to take me out of the marketplace.”
“This is the second time they’ve attacked me,” he continued, referring to the April report that preceded his ouster from Fox News.
O’Reilly also claimed that he’s at a disadvantage, as he “can’t comment specifically on any case that has been resolved.”
Beck did challenge O’Reilly on the hefty price tag of his $32 million settlement with Wiehl. “Nobody does that,” Beck said.
After an awkward silence, O’Reilly asked: “So what do you want me to say?” He continued that he could not make specific comments after the lawsuits, but claimed that the Times reported inaccurate number figures regarding his settlement — though he declined to specify the number.
He said “the endgame” of the conspiracy he was describing was to “link O’Reilly with Harvey Weinstein.”
“The New York Times obviously hates me,” he continued. “It’s dishonest in the extreme. And it’s frustrating for me, but unless I want another seven or eight years of constant litigation, that puts my children in a kill zone, I have to maintain my discipline.”
O’Reilly also defended himself by claiming that “In 20 years, 6 months at Fox News Channel,” he “only resolved 3 things” — referring to settlements made over sexual harassment allegations.
Before a commercial break, O’Reilly viciously attacked the Times’ Michael Schmidt as a “weasel reporter,” and the “most dishonest man on the face of the earth,” for not printing in full an affidavit signed by Wiehl — in which she renounced “all allegations against” the former anchor, per an O’Reilly rep.
“This was a hit job to get me out of the marketplace,” O’Reilly concluded.
The Beck appearance comes after an O’Reilly interview was aired Monday morning on Times podcast The Daily, in which he railed angrily at two Times reporters, accusing them of conspiring to take him down.
Watch the Beck interview above, via TheBlaze.
[image via screengrab]
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