Over the weekend, the New York Times’ Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt reported that, in January, Bill O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle a sexual-harassment case brought against him by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl. (That $32 million was in addition to the $13 million O’Reilly and Fox paid to five other women who had accused him of harassment. O’Reilly was fired from the network after the Times publicized the settlements in April.) O’Reilly, who continues to deny that he ever harassed anyone, spoke to Steel and Schmidt for the story, and some outtakes from the interview ended up on the Monday-morning episode of the Times’ The Daily podcast. At one point, O’Reilly claimed that previous reporting on his history of harassment had brought “indescribable pain” to his children (in front of whom he allegedly beat his ex-wife), and then appeared to blame journalists for the death of his former colleague Eric Bolling’s son.
Bolling was pushed out of Fox in September after HuffPo reported that he had sent “explicit photos” to female co-workers. Bolling’s 19-year-old son died shortly after his father left the network. The death was reportedly an accident, though O’Reilly seemed to suggest otherwise: “I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper,” he told the Times. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, Bolling wasn’t happy to hear O’Reilly attempting to use his kid’s death in a bid to avoid further scandal. In a statement to Steel, Bolling called O’Reilly’s behavior “beyond inappropriate”:
A couple of hours later, O’Reilly apologized:
Bolling accepted the apology, but that doesn’t make the whole situation any less gross.