- Eric Bolling said Monday it was “beyond inappropriate” for Bill O’Reilly to say his son died because of the sexual-harassment allegations against him.
- O’Reilly told the New York Times to “think about” what they published and said Bolling’s son died “because of allegations made … against Mr. Bolling.”
- Bolling said in a statement after that he hoped O’Reilly would refrain from mentioning his son again.
Former Fox News host Eric Bolling criticised Bill O’Reilly on Monday for suggesting to The New York Times that his son, Eric Chase Bolling, died because of the sexual-harassment allegations against Bolling that surfaced in August.
O’Reilly made the comments to reporters Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt, pushing back against a recent Times investigation which found that O’Reilly had settled a sexual-harassment ;claim in January for a record $US32 million. Fox renewed O’Reilly’s multi-year contract one month later.
O’Reilly insisted that The Times’ “figures are wrong” and that the paper was “making assumptions,” after which he made the claim about Bolling’s son.
“I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper,” O’Reilly said. “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 a statement to the Times, Bolling said it was “beyond inappropriate” for O’Reilly to bring up his son’s death.
“Just as Bill O’Reilly had wanted to shield his children from the allegations against him, I hope he will honour my request and avoid any future mentions of my son,” Bolling said, adding that his departure from the network was not connected to his son’s death.
“Unlike others who left Fox News amid public allegations and extensive investigations, I parted ways with Fox News in an amicable way and any reference to a firing is flatly wrong,” Bolling said.
O’Reilly departed from Fox News in April, following an exodus of advertisers that came on the heels of an explosive report saying he and Fox News had paid out $US13 million to five women to settle sexual-harassment claims they had brought against him. Multiple other women also accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment after the initial revelations.
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