UPDATED with Eric Bolling response, Bill O’Reilly apology: Former Fox News host Eric Bolling has issued a statement telling Bill O’Reilly to knock off his “beyond inappropriate” talk about his son. In a statement, sent first to New York Times, Bolling said:
“I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son Eric Chase Bolling. Just as Bill O’Reilly had wanted to shield his children from the allegations against him, I hope he will honor my request and avoid any future mentions of my son.”
“My parting from Fox News was in no way connected to the tragic news of my son’s passing,” Bolling continued, adding, “The coroner has in fact indicated to us that they believe it was an accident.”
Peter Bart: A Disney Deal Gone Wrong: How Mouse Money Fueled Harvey Weinstein's Alleged Predation As Miramax Mogul
In his statement, Bolling also insisted he parted ways with Fox News ” in an amicable way,” which he noted pointedly, was “unlike others who left Fox News amid public allegations and extensive investigations.”
Bill O’Reilly responded with apology:
Previous: Very busy morning for Bill O’Reilly. Appearing on The Glenn Beck Program, he dismissed as “incomprehensible” the morning’s headline-grabbing monologue delivered by former Fox News Channel colleague Megyn Kelly.
“She did not file a complaint. Not that I know of,” he said.
At the top of her NBC News program, Kelly this morning revealed she sent an email last year to the co-presidents of her former employer Fox News complaining about O’Reilly’s behavior toward women.
“I never had any problem with Megyn Kelly,” O’Reilly told Beck. “I don’t know why Megyn Kelly is doing what she’s doing. I don’t know why…It is incomprehensible.”
O’Reilly also could be heard today in a New York Times podcast of an interview conducted last Wednesday with authors of the blockbuster weekend report that O’Reilly had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit that had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, for $32M shortly before his contract was extended last spring by Fox News parent company.
In that interview, O’Reilly seems to suggest the NYT bore responsibility for the death of former colleague Eric Bolling’s son, who died shortly after Fox News parted ways with Bolling amid allegations of sexual harassment reported on by the newspaper.
“I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper,” O’Reilly said in the podcast. “Eric Bolling’s son is dead. He’s dead because of allegations made — in my opinion and I know this to be true — against Mr. Bolling.”
In that interview, O’Reilly told Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt, “We have physical proof that this is bullshit. Bullshit. Okay? So it’s on you if you want to destroy my children further. Alright, cause it’s all crap. Why don’t you be human beings for once. This is horrible.
“It’s horrible what I went through. Horrible what my family went through. This is crap. And you know it. It’s politically and financially motivated. And we can prove it with shocking information.”
On Saturday O’Reilly rep Mark Fabiani said NYT report was “obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace.”
O’Reilly repeated that refrain Monday morning on Glenn Beck’s program, asserting NYT “wants to take me out of the markeplace,” and that he’s muzzled because he “can’t speak on any case that has been resolved.”
When Beck marveled at the reported $32M settlement price tag reported in NYT, O’Reilly shot back, “Right. What do you want me to say,” again noting he cannot talk, per terms of the settlement.
He similarly responded to other of Beck’s questions, adding, “I know it’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating for me. Imagine me sitting here, being accused of everything under the sun.
O’Reilly insisted NYT‘s “endgame is, ‘Let’s link O’Reilly with Harvey Weinstein. Let’s make him that’.”
Speaking of himself in the third person, O’Reilly charged the newspaper with working to “take him out of the marketplace forever…he never gets to give his opinion on issues again. We take him out because we hate him’.”
“The New York Times obviously hates me,” O’Reilly said. “It’s dishonest in the extreme and frustrating for me. But unless I want another seven or eight years of litigation that puts my children in the kill zone, I have to maintain discipline.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.