NBC’s Megyn Kelly shot back at Bill O’Reilly after he claimed no woman ever complained about his behavior at Fox News, revealing that she complained in a letter to Fox News’ co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy.
The New York Times reported Saturday that O’Reilly signed a huge contract with Fox News after he settled sexual misconduct claims from a former colleague for $32 million. O’Reilly called the report a “smear” and claimed no woman ever complained about his behavior to HR or legal in his 21 years at the network.
Kelly, who hosted a show at Fox News before moving to NBC, said on Monday that she once complained about O’Reilly to then-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false,” she said. “I know, because I complained. It was November of 2016, the day my memoir was released. In it, I included a chapter on Ailes and his sexual harassment scandal at Fox News.”
Kelly explained that O’Reilly appeared on CBS News the morning the memoir was released, and said he wouldn’t talk about the memoir or Ailes because he wasn’t “interested in making my network look bad.”
“I did something that day I’ve never done before,” Kelly continued. “I wrote an email to the co-presidents of Fox News…an email I have never made public but am sharing now.”
“Perhaps he didn’t realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across the country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment,” the email read in part. “Perhaps he didn’t realize that his exact attitude of shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment on grounds it will disgrace the company is in part how Fox News got into the decades-long Ailes mess to begin with.”
Kelly alleges that Shine told her he would “deal with” O’Reilly, but on O’Reilly’s show that evening he doubled down on attacks on women who complained about harassment.
“If somebody is paying you away you owe that person or company allegiance–if you don’t like what’s happening in the company go to Human Resources or leave,” O’Reilly said.