Bill O’Reilly called the claims that resulted in his departure from Fox News “unfounded” and wished the network the best in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
“Over the past 20 years at Fox News,” wrote O’Reilly, “I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
Fox issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying they were dropping O’Reilly from the network after two decades following a series of allegations about sexual harassment and the report earlier this month that Fox had paid five women over $13 million to keep quiet about allegations of inappropriate behavior from the host. “The O’Reilly Factor” was consistently the highest-rated show on cable news but lost more than 50 advertisers following pressure from a series of activist groups. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes resigned last summer over allegations of sexual harassment from women at the network, including former anchors Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.