“You used your show on Monday to address, specifically, Bill O’Reilly, who had basically made the point that no women in all his years had ever gone to anyone in charge at Fox News and said his behavior was bad,” Meyers began, asking, “Did you know right way that you were going to do that?”
Kelly acknowledged it was “the combo, of him saying that, and the news that he had paid $32M to settle a [harassment] claim.”
“That’s not nuisance value,” she continued. “$32M is a different story. And he was renewed at the company after he did it. Fox says it didn’t know. The question remains, why didn’t they? Why wouldn’t you know, why wouldn’t you ask, before you bring this man back in the workplace and unleash him on the workforce?”
“The combination of those things and what’s happening in the country, It was time to tell that story,” she continued, adding, “I take no pleasure in discussing Fox News in that way. I had a lot of good years there. And they’re not all bad – they’ve got some great people.
“He is not one of them.”
On her Monday NBC News program, Kelly revealed she complained about O’Reilly to Fox News presidents.
Over the weekend, NYT had reported O’Reilly allegedly struck a $32 million sexual harassment payment with a Fox News legal analyst a month before 21st Century Fox gave him a four-year contract extension. O’Reilly called the report a malicious smear, claiming no woman in 20 years ever made a claim to human resources, or legal, about him.
Kelly, who worked at Fox News from 2004 until January, said she wrote an email to co-presidents of Fox News, Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, in November 2016 about O’Reilly’s treatment of women.
That’s around the time Kelly’s memoir was released, including a chapter in which she said she had been sexually harassed by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. O’Reilly, appearing on CBS This Morning, had blasted Kelly’s book, saying, “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.”
In her email, Kelly complained, “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.
“Perhaps it’s his own history of harassment with women, which has, as you both know, resulted in payouts to more than one woman, including recently, that blinded him to the folly of saying anything other than, ‘I’m just so sorry for the women of this company who never should’ve had to go through that.’ ”