Eric Bolling finds it "beyond inappropriate" that fellow ex-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly referenced Bolling's late son while defending himself against the latest wave of public backlash.
Bolling's son, 19-year-old college student Eric Chase Bolling, was found dead in September. His death came just hours after Bolling was let go from Fox News as reports emerged that he had allegedly sexually harassed women at the network. While declining to release details about the younger Bolling's sudden death, the family maintained that it was not related to the firing.
On Monday, O'Reilly brought up the death while speaking to the New York Times, which on Saturday exposed a $32 million lawsuit O'Reilly settled with a sexual harassment accuser.
"I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper,” O’Reilly warned 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.”
Despite O'Reilly's assertion that he "knew it to be true," Bolling is firmly shutting him down, saying, "My parting from Fox News was in no way connected to the tragic news of my son's passing. The coroner has in fact indicated ot us that they believe it was an accident."
"I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son Eric Chase Bolling," he said in a statement. "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."
Bolling went on to draw a distinction between his departure from the network and O'Reilly's: "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's exit from Fox News came after HuffPost revealed that he allegedly sent lewd photos and texts to three female colleagues.
- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Eric Bolling says it's 'beyond inappropriate' that Bill O'Reilly is using his late teenage son for leverage